Colorado State has four linebackers on board for the 2017 class, but the Rams are not done recruiting edge rushers. With the need for talent and depth at the ever important Buck linebacker position in Marty English's 3-4, CSU has targeted Palm Beach Gardens (Fla.) Dwyer edge specialist Jamal Gates.
Gates has 15 offers to his name, with the likes of Syracuse and South Florida being among them. CSU extended an offer to Gates in late September and the Rams have made it clear he is a priority. Gates was set to return a phone call to CSU head coach Mike Bobo on Monday night and has already scheduled his first official visit to Colorado State.
“My first one (visit) will be to Colorado State December 9 through 11,” Gates said.
The Dwyer playmaker admitted to not knowing much about Colorado State, but is excited to travel out to Colorado for the first time, in which he will likely see snow.
“For one, it will be my first time in Colorado. It'll be a new experience. I'm looking forward to the environment, seeing how the students like it there. I want to talk to the other players from Florida and see how they like it there.”
The 6-foot-2, 215-pound three-star does not have any personal connections to Colorado State, but the Rams do have a famous Dwyer alum already on their roster. Quarterback Faton Bauta was a three-star recruit when he signed with Georgia out of Dwyer. Gates does not know Bauta personally, however.
CSU defensive coordinator Marty English is Gates' primary recruiter. English has had success recruiting Sunshine State defenders in previous years and is hoping for more success this time around.
“He (English) checks on me a lot, seeing how I'm doing and all that, see how my season's going,” he said. “He likes that I'm very explosive. I'm going to play standup 'backer if I attend there. He just likes my explosiveness and how I get to the ball.”
Gates plans on waiting out the recruiting process, taking all five official visits after his senior season, then announcing a commitment around National Signing Day in February.
Until he takes his visits, Gates will wait on naming any recruiting favorites.
“Right now, I'm undecided. Everybody's pretty much the same.”
Gates said Appalachian State will likely receive his second official visit, while he is unsure of a date for that, or which other schools he will visit. The primary factor influencing his commitment decision will be a “home away from home,” Gates said, in which the college has a family-type atmosphere.
In helping Dwyer to a 6-1 record, Gates said he has tallied seven sacks.