Bateman is a 5-foot-11-inch, 180-pound cornerback who played both ways for Palm Desert High School this past season. While he was a mainstay at cornerback, Bateman also logged time playing both receiver and running back for his varsity squad.
"I'd go in occasionally and run mostly fly and seam routes," said Bateman. "I finished the year with 25 catches for 320 yards and five touchdowns. Coaches had me play running back for the final four games and I gained 370 yards on 64 carries and scored seven touchdowns playing running back."
But for Bateman, it's cornerback where he primarily shined and where he'll be logging time at BYU. At corner, Bateman recorded 70 tackles and four interceptions last season.
Bateman attended BYU's camp for the first time last summer and didn't really hear much from coaches as that camp came to a close. Regardless, he sent out his highlight footage to BYU and other schools following his junior year and was immediately approached with interest from some top schools.
"We have a lot of guys with offers at my high school, so I had a lot of coaches stopping by and I'd give all of them my highlight tape," said Bateman. "It's just something you do, and fortunately I guess they liked my footage a lot and I got a lot of interest."
While most of the initial interest and offers come from smaller programs, Bateman's first offer ironically came from a Pac-10 program.
"Arizona was the first school to offer me, which was really a surprise," said Bateman. "I thought I might get some interest from some smaller schools and then maybe get interest from Pac-10 schools, so when they offered it was like, ‘Wow, I can't believe it.'"
"Yeah, Oregon was real interested until I told them of my mission plans," said Bateman. "They probably would have offered if I didn't have mission plans."
Regardless of whatever offers came his way, Bateman had his sights set on one school in particular in large part due to having many ties with that school.
"Both my parents went to BYU," said Bateman. "My grandparents and I always loved BYU growing up and I always wanted to play there. When they offered me it was first a shock, but then I was really excited because BYU is really the only school I've ever wanted to play for."
Bateman attended BYU's padded camp, and as he was set to leave he had the opportunity to sit down with Coach Mendenhall before receiving his offer.
"We sat down and talked for about 40 minutes," said Bateman. "It was incredible. Coach Mendenhall is such a great coach and we talked about everything. It was really different than my other experiences with coaches and something I really appreciated."
Upon receiving his BYU offer Bateman was pretty sure he'd accept it, but wanted to think some things over before making his final decision.
"It's a big decision," said Bateman. "It's deciding where you're going to spend your next five years after high school, so it was something I wanted to think over for a bit. But after thinking it over and talking about it, BYU was the place that was best for me."
Bateman is LDS and has definite plans to serve a mission, which played a big part in his decision to commit to BYU.
"BYU will obviously respect and work with my mission plans, which is a big thing," said Bateman. "Academics [are] also very important to me, and BYU is a great academic school. And obviously the LDS culture, which allows me to attend school with people who hold my same values, was important."
Bateman will turn 19 the February after he graduates, which will allow him to play a year before leaving for his planned mission. For that first year and thereafter, Bateman is anxious to learn and develop under the tutelage of defensive coordinator Jaime Hill.
"Oh, man, Coach Hill is an incredible coach," said Bateman. "I only worked out with him for a week, but I could feel myself getting better every single day I was at camp. The way he coaches and teaches you is as good as it gets. I'm very excited to have the opportunity to play for Coach Hill."
What Coach Hill will have in Bateman is a cornerback with adequate size at 5 feet 11 inches who can burn up the football field. Bateman is a legitimate 4.45 speedster who has great instincts, which should allow him to thrive in Coach Hill's 3-4 system.
"I was hand-timed by my coaches on the track and ran a 4.25, so I think that translates to about a 4.45 time on the field," said Bateman. "I definitely have good speed and keep up with most receivers."
With his speed and overall athleticism, coupled with a strong desire to be at BYU, Bateman should fit in well with head coach Bronco Mendenhall's program.
"BYU is getting better every year ever since Coach Mendenhall became head coach," said Bateman. "I'm very excited to have the opportunity to play for BYU and for Coach Mendenhall in getting even better than they are right now."