2011 WR A Player To Watch

This talented junior-to-be is a player to keep an eye on in Alabama.

Leroy, Ala.--One of the top wide receivers in Alabama won't be a senior next year. Despite being a 2011 prospect, speedy Sammie Coates has already caught the eye of many after a strong sophomore season and an impressive Scout.com Elite Camp performance this spring.

It was that camp that has skyrocketed not only the interest in Coates, but also his belief in himself. In the spring the Bears took on McIntosh and Fruitdale in a half of football each and Coates was unstoppable with nearly 300 receiving yards for the game. He says his play is night and day right now from where it was a year ago.

"I'm a whole lot better right now," Coates tells Inside The Auburn Tigers. "Last year I dropped some balls, but this spring I didn't drop any. Playing with Clint Moseley helped me a lot because he's a good thrower.

"The camp helped me out a lot," he adds. "I saw how the top guys are working and it opened my eyes. It made me better by working against people I don't know. All of the coaching and drills helped me out as well."

Coates was a standout at the Scout.com Elite Camp.

With two years still left to play in high school, Coates says that he's got plenty of time to worry about the recruiting game and where he wants to play football in his future, but it hasn't kept him from already getting attention.

"Schools have been trying to reach me, but they can't really talk to me right now," Coates says. "They're going to wait until football season starts to contact me a lot. South Alabama is going to offer me next year, but I'm not sure about anyone else. I grew up liking Alabama, Auburn, LSU and all those schools."

At 6-2, 170 with 4.5 speed in the 40-yard dash, Coates has the physical tools necessary to get the job done. Last season he caught passes from the Auburn quarterback signee Moseley as the Bears won their third consecutive state championship.

For the year he grabbed 18 balls for an impressive 477 yards (39.8 yards per receptions) and four touchdowns. He also added three interceptions on defense. He says that his strength as a player is the way he plays the game.

"I think I'm a pretty good player," Coates says. "I play the game hard. When it comes down to it, I don't like to lose. I play to win."

Also a standout basketball player, Coates averaged 14 points and 12 rebounds a game as a sophomore for the Bears. In the weight room he bench pressed 280 pounds and squats 315 pounds.

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