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Boise State roster countdown 2020: Day 85, John Bates

NCAA Football: Boise State at Colorado State Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

85 days left in the countdown?! Seems like only yesterday there were 86 days. We’re in tight end territory now, so here’s a bit of senioritis—John Bates

#85, John Bates, Senior, TE

Stats

Height: 6’6”

Weight: 256 lbs (+11)

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”

Sticking with this because frankly, it’s the only thing I can think of.

Look-alike

Also sticking with actor Will Poulter because, well...he looks like Will Poulter

Career Highlights

Appeared in 14 games for the Broncos in 2019 with 13 starts. Named Honorable Mention All-MWC in 2019. Named to Mackey Award watch list ahead of 2019 season. 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.

2020 Prospectus

With 462 yards in his career, no one can say that Bates hasn’t been an asset to the Boise State offense, but considering that roughly 60% of those yards came in 2019...it seems this is a fairly new discovery. The 3-headed QB beast of Hank Bachmeier, Chase Cord, and Jaylon Henderson certainly seemed to rely more on the 6’6” playmaker than Brett Rypien did and knowing Rypien’s propensity for the deeeeep ball, that makes a lot of sense. Also, consider that Brett Rypien had Cedrick Wilson AND John Hightower in his receiver rolodex and that perhaps led to a bit more dust accumulating on the cleats. John Hightower is gone now, but the receiving depth is still crazy deep, so I don’t expect Bates’s catches and yards to skyrocket, but I do think we’ll see more of the same in this his final season. Last year, Bates was 5th in receiving yards behind (in order) Hightower, Shakir, Thomas, and Butler. As you know, Hightower and Butler have graduated, so Bates could move up that receiving chart, but I expect that guys like Stefan Cobbs and Octavius Evans to fill in some of those blanks. Expect another 20+ reception season for big John and a career-high in receiving yards (273 is the benchmark).

Is he on Twitter?

He doesn’t tweet a ton, so I had to dig a bit for this one

Completely made up fact

Bates can recite one digit of pi. So, if you happen to see him and ask what the ratio of a circle’s circumference is to its diameter, he’ll quickly reply, “3”