62 days stand between us and Bronco football. Let's kill time by looking at a currently-numberless newcomer to the Bronco roster. He probably won't wear #62, but we gotta fill these spots somehow—John Bates
#62, John Bates, True Freshman, TE
Weight: 215 lbs
High School: Lebanon Union High School, Lebanon, OR
How'd he get to the Blue™?
Bates was a one-time Oregon State commit, but became the second straight tight end recruit to spurn Corvallis for Boise (Matt Pistone did the fliparoo a year before). A 3-star recruit at Lebanon Union High School, the journeyman Bates spent his first two prep years just over the Idaho border in Nyssa, OR. As a senior at Lebanon, Bates was a first-team Oregon 5A selection and made The Oregonian's 2nd team All-State squad as well. Bates made the all-conference team his final 3 years of prep ball. Bates did about everything on the gridiron and was named All-Mid Willamette Valley Conference at wide receiver, defensive back and punter in 2014 and 2015. Not wanting to pigeonhole himself as a football star only, Bates was also named All-EOL First Team as a sophomore and All-MWVL honorable mention as a junior in basketball. Of course, he also excelled in track and field and won back-to-back state titles in the 110m hurdles, and a state javelin title in 2015. As a junior, Bates was named the all-level Male Athlete of the Meet at state after capturing hurdles and javelin titles and finishing second in the triple jump and fourth in the long jump. Boise State and Oregon State were his only offers. Watch his highlight video below and you'll see he does about everything but hold the yardage markers.
Merciless killer of defensive backs (figuratively, of course)
Younger Tyler Hansbrough
Name first-team Oregon 5A, All-Conference, and 2nd team Oregonian All-State player as a senior in 2015. All-Conference as a junior in 2014. State 110 hurdles champion in 2015. State javelin champion in 2015. State 110 hurdles champion in 2014. All-conference football recipient in 2013. All-conference honorable mention in basketball as a junior. All-conference first-teamer in basketball as a sophomore.
The Broncos went BIG with this year's TE recruiting crop—landing two 6'6" prospects in Bates and Nick Crabtree. While Crabtree gets the edge in overall size, already sitting at 250+ lbs...you have to give the athleticism nod to Bates, who played virtually every position on the field for Lebanon Union and dominated on the track, field, and court. The tight-end unit is already one of the deepest on the Bronco team, with five diverse blocking and pass-catching options at the coaches' disposal. Furthermore, not a single tight end on the roster is currently a senior, meaning things will only get deeper when Bates and Crabtree arrive on campus. This is certainly a good "problem" to have, but likely means that both incoming TEs will have the luxury of redshirting. As it stands, I see Bates fitting into the Holden Huff mold at TE...he has some work to do to get up to his ideal playing weight, but has the length and athleticism to give defenders trouble right out of the gate. I think Bates takes his redshirt, packs on an extra 15 to 20 lbs in 2016 and enters the 2017 season as a more-than-viable receiving weapon. 2017 will be the TEpocalypse at Boise State and we're going to see some interesting formations to get as many on the field as we can.
Is he on Twitter?
Wish I was is Disneyland right now— john bates (@JohnBoy15_2) January 29, 2016
Yes, and he speaks for all of us.
Completely made up fact
A standout in the 110 hurdles and javelin, Bates was the driving force behind the first 110 javelin race at a meet in 2014. Of course, Bates was the victor, but there were 6 casualties and the event was never held again.