(Photo Courtesy of Wake Forest Sports)
Fort Wayne, IN | 6015 | 200 | 4.52E | 2020
Bates is a long limbed rangy safety that covers a lot of ground and has excellent reactionary instincts combined with surprising speed for a big safety. He comes from football factory Bishop Snider High School (Fort Wayne, IN) and blew up as a redshirt freshman leading the team in interceptions, his 100 combined tackles was good for second on the team and he returned two interceptions for touchdowns. Bates blows plays up in the backfield, he has obscene closing speed and is a flatout playmaker that can play all four downs. He has special teams experience as a punt returner and excelled as a gunner on kick coverage during his first season at Wake. As a prep, he played point guard for the basketball team, he played on the baseball team and was a captain on the football team. He has a great frame for the safety position, recognizes coverages well and knows how to lay the wood. Should test out exceedingly well and has a chance to be a Top-100 pick when he chooses to enter the draft.
2016: Had an outstanding redshirt freshman campaign in 2016 … Was a consensus Freshman All-American … Earned first team Freshman All-America honors from the Football Writers Association of America, USA Today, Campus Insiders, ESPN, Athlon and Sports on Earth … Runner-up for ACC Defensive Rookie of the Year to Clemson DT Dexter Lawrence in voting by the Atlantic Coast Sports Media Association … Was second in the ACC in interceptions with 5 … Led the ACC in interception return yards with 158.
High School: Team captain as a senior … Rated as a 3-star recruit by 247 and ESPN … A two-time first team all-state selection by the Associated Press in 2013 and 2014 … Earned first team all-state honors from USA Today in 2014 … As a senior, recorded nine interceptions tying the mark of NFL Hall of Famer Rod Woodson … Recognized as All-Northeast Indiana first team by The Journal Gazette … Helped lead Snider to a 10-3 record as a senior … Also played point guard for the Snider basketball team … Coached in football by Kurt Tippman.
Personal: Son of Theresa Ladd … Born Oct. 11, 1996.