POSTED: 1:30 a.m. HST, Jul 9, 2011
If the University of Hawaii is to be a “second chance,” as quarterback Robert “Tate” Forcier has termed it, think of it also as a seventh or eighth one for the “QB Force” as the family website, qbforce.com, bills itself.
Forcier, who said he is scheduled to visit UH next week, isn’t just a highly touted quarterback looking for greener pastures, he is the third — and youngest — son in a family of quarterbacks who have criss-crossed the country in search of starting opportunities and stardom.
He is an immensely talented, charismatic and fiercely competitive athlete, but as the family’s last — and best — hope to achieve major college football fame, he’s someone who also shoulders a lot of expectations on his 6-foot-1, 180-pound frame.
That's something for both parties to keep in mind as they go about their summer courtship.
One in which two of the biggest questions should be: Can Tate find the fit and success here that has eluded his family elsewhere? And will the 2,500-mile separation from his hometown of San Diego supply enough breathing room for UH coaches?
A college coach who has dealt with the family isn’t sure. “It would definitely be an interesting situation,” said the coach, who asked not to be named.
Tate’s father, Mike, a Michigan native, attended junior college and the University of San Diego without winning a starting job. Then, as the owner of a limo service, he put his experience, hopes and resources into grooming his sons for college success.
Perhaps none more than Tate, who according to the story, got his family-bestowed nickname from the 1991 movie “Little Man Tate” about a gifted child.
Almost since Tate first gripped a sponge football, they have nurtured his talents. There have been private quarterback coaches since the third grade. He was home-schooled his last three years of high school in part to provide more opportunities for a personalized training regimen.
And there have been lessons learned from following in the cleats of his brothers. The oldest, Jason, initially went to Michigan before transferring to Stanford, where he also saw limited duty. Chris attended UCLA and then transferred to Furman, seeing brief playing time.
Tate was the bluest of the family blue chips out of high school, well marketed by the family and a prospect coveted by a Who’s Who of schools. Before beginning his freshman year at Michigan, Tate told the Ann Arbor News, “Both of my brothers had to sit. I don't want to sit.”
Initially he didn’t. Tate started every game for the Wolverines as a freshman. For a time, brother Jason moved in with him at Michigan.
But Tate lost his starting job to Denard Robinson in 2010 and left Michigan after the season in search of a better fit. He originally announced plans to attend Miami, but later changed his mind, saying he wanted to be closer to his family.
If you are UH, you have to wonder, how close might that be? And, come 2012, his first year of eligibility to play for UH, how comfortable might it be having the “force” with it if things don’t go well?
Reach Ferd Lewis at firstname.lastname@example.org.