Michigan LB: Offer from Army would mean a lot

Jack Bates may be on the cusp of an offer after hearing from Army and several others schools this spring. The 6-foot-2, 230-pound inside linebacker, who plays at Grand Rapids (Mich.) Christian High School, says he'll be making a summer visit to West Point to try to sure up the offer after speaking with Army recruiter, Bob Bodine.

"He told me that they really liked the film they saw of me," Jack Bates told ArmySports.com. "Coach Bodine was telling me he likes the way I work downfield at linebacker, the way I fill holes, and thinks I have natural instincts when it comes to tackling."

At Grand Rapids Christian, Bates became one of the few Eagles to start as a freshman in 2011 and helped them to an undefeated regular season. Prior to his sophomore season, Bates sustained an injury in two-a-days which cost him the year. As a junior, he moved from outside to middle linebacker and recorded 96 tackles. Bates was named first team All-Ottawa-Kent (White) Conference in 2013.

"I decided to quit basketball to concentrate on the weight room in the off-season," he shared. "I've gotten a lot stronger and kept 20 pounds on me instead of losing it to basketball. I've improved on my knowledge of our system by watching a ton of film. We should be pretty good this season. We're returning seven starters on defense which is a lot for high school. I'm going to be playing some offensive line too because we're going to be thin there. My goal is to get All-State at linebacker and lead the team in tackles."

With planned visits to camps at Army, Air Force, Western Michigan, and Michigan State, Bates hoes to make a big impression on coaches and come away with a handful of offers going into his senior season.

"I love to win," Bates said. "I'd like to join a winning D-1 program. I want to be in a good environment with good competition. I like to be around guys who work and will drive me to improve and I'll drive them. That's fun for me.

"My grandfather played football at Michigan. My uncle played baseball at Eastern Michigan. My dad went to Western Michigan but he didn't play sports. He was in ROTC. He served in Iraq and is still in the National Guard. All my life I've thought about going into the service myself. When I was a little kid, I remember seeing [my dad] go to serve and thinking I'd like to do that too. An offer from West Point would mean a lot."

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