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Boise State roster countdown 2019: Day 85, John Bates

Utah State v Boise State Photo by Loren Orr/Getty Images

‘85 was my favorite year for movies. Back to the Future, Rocky IV, The Goonies, Fletch...I mean, that’s some quality cinema. And don’t you dare sleep on Remo Williams...an underrated classic starring the incomparable Fred Ward. 85 is also a pretty nice number on the Boise State roster, which (gasp) perfectly aligns with the number of days until the Broncos take on the Seminoles. How about that? And how about...John Bates

#85, John Bates, Junior, TE

Stats

Height: 6’6”

Weight: 245 lbs (-2)

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.

Nickname

”Norman”

We’re all hoping he becomes a psycho on the football field this year (and not at a dilapidated roadside motel).

Look-alike

Actor Will Poulter

Career Highlights

Appeared in 13 games in 2018 with 8 starts. Made an appearance in 14 games in 2017 as a redshirt freshman. 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.

2019 Prospectus

Bates has the body, athletic acumen, and experience level to be a huge (pronounced “yuge”) contributor for the Broncos this year, but y’know...we said that last year too but like my kids’ toothbrush he was lightly-used. Now, 10 receptions for 155 yards is good if we’re playing the averages game, but 10 receptions total ain’t so hot when playing the quantity game. It’s not like any of the other tight ends really did much either though, and can be blamed on scheme, not talent. The Broncos have all sorts of depth at the tight end position this year...and even some seniority, but nobody has been able to assume the Jake Roh mantle since...well, Jake Roh.

If you think of Bates as a really big wideout it makes some sense...because our wideout depth is crazy good as well, and those tight ends can be used in a variety of ways beyond just catching (which the receivers are pretty darn good at themselves), so guys like Pistone, Collingham, Ramseyer, Deluna, and Tyneil Hopper are sure to make contributions, but until Zak Hill decides they can be trusted to chip away some touches from the receivers, they might be a bit more “behind the scenes”. The Broncos also have the top JuCo tight end in the country—Austin Griffin—arriving for the season, so it makes one wonder when exactly they’ll choose to put this talent on display. Bates is likely atop the depth chart entering Fall Camp and I’d think the seniors—Matt Pistone and Garrett Collingham are probably close behind. Tyneil Hopper was getting plenty of love this spring after his redshirt year had expired, so he’s probably hovering around that top 3 as well. When the monster Griffin arrives, it’ll create yet another “good problem” for the Broncos...now if they’ll just realize the mismatches these dudes create, maybe we’ll get to see some TDs for those TEs.

Is he on Twitter?

Yes. And if he values Twitter feedback, now has a dog named “Finn”

Completely made up fact

Bates is a black belt in the underrepresented martial art of Tik Taek Do. It’s primarily a defensive discipline focused on blocking Xs and Os. There are a lot of ties.