85 days is totally doable, nevertheless, let’s do this countdown. Today, we’ll look at #85 on the Boise State roster—John Bates
#85, John Bates, RS Freshman, TE
Weight: 245 lbs (+30)
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.
Serendipitous because he’s a big boy
Actor Will Poulter
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.
Thanks to the googles and the OBNUG archives, I was able to revisit last season’s John Bates countdown piece when he was just a lowly 215 lb. true freshman. So far, I’d say he’s exceeded expectations:
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.
Bates surpassed my weight-gain hopes and dreams and is now unlikely to be cowed by diminutive DBs. His speed and athleticism are still his biggest asset, but he’s got the mass to be a people mover and not just a people-pleaser and that should be a big boon to the already ginormous Bronco tight end corps. Given the fact that the Broncos graduated not a single tight end from last season’s squad (nor signed one in the 2017 class), all TEs on the roster will be ready, willing, and able to contribute. It also means that the TEpocalypse is at hand. We’ve got a tantalizing mix of receivers and blockers in the group and Bates appears to specialize in the former. With this many talented TEs in the mix, it would be foolhardy to peg one as THE GUY, but I’m awfully bullish on Bates and think with some experience under his belt he can be a dangerous weapon. 6’6” athletes as versatile as John don’t grown on trees and the Broncos are lucky to have him waiting in the wings.
Is he on Twitter?
What are some good places to get food at near downtown Boise???— j bates (@JohnBoy15_2) March 12, 2017
Yes, and hungry (maybe not currently)
Completely made up fact
As a sophomore, Bates’ listed height was just 5 foot 5 but between his sophomore and junior year, he realized that he could play football much more effectively if he wasn’t on his knees.