WHAT IS THERE TO LIKE? When looking at Kentucky and how they use their tight ends in the offense, it's readily apparent that Cincinnati Moeller's Brenden Bates will fit like a glove. Bates has a similar skill set to both C.J. Conrad and Greg Hart, both of whom are projected as future NFL players. Bates has great hands and the ability to make the tough catch across the middle, while also having the speed to get open down the seam. He has great height at 6-foot-6, and makes a great target for his quarterback. Bates also plays in a tight end friendly offense at Moeller, so he should be able to contribute as a true freshman for the Wildcats.
WHAT ARE THE CONCERNS? Not many at all for this three-star prospect that is under consideration for a rankings bump in the next update. Bates will need to get bigger and stronger, especially in his upper body, to handle the rigors of blocking SEC defensive ends and linebackers, but he has the frame to fill out to 250-pounds. Although not the biggest tight end at 225-pounds, Bates is a willing blocker and plays a physical style. As he gets bigger, he will be an asset in the Kentucky running game. There is no downside to a player like Brenden Bates, and this is another nice Ohio tight end for Mark Stoops and Vince Marrow.
WHAT ARE THE INTANGIBLES? Bates comes from a family of highly successful athletes, including his brother, father, and grandfather, who all played at a high level of college sports. He also comes from one of the greatest high school programs in the Midwest, so Bates has learned how to win and also how to play the game the right way. He will make an easy transition from Moeller to Kentucky.
WHO DOES HE COMPARE TO? C.J. Conrad.