Kates Becomes First IU Commit

Andre Kates' career has taken some unexpected twists and turns over the last several years, which have now led him to Bloomington as the first member of IU's 2010 recruiting class...

According to published reports, Indiana has landed its first football commitment for the 2010 class.

Andre Kates, a 6'0", 193-pound cornerback from Erie Community College, announced Friday that he'll sign with the Hoosiers in the fall. Kates picked Indiana over scholarship offers from Miami (Fla.), Baylor, BYU, Washington State, Memphis, Maryland and Buffalo, among others.

Kates told the Bloomington Herald Times that IU assistant coach Joe Palcic and junior Jerimy Finch were big reasons why he opted for the Hoosiers.

"I knew Finch, and he told me I should be looking into Indiana," Kates told the Herald Times. "I trust Jerimy. He played with my best friend Joe Haden (at Florida), and he told me the academics were real good and the fans were good, also.

"I could have gone to Miami, Florida, Ohio State, but I don't want to go where a tradition is already built. I want to be part of building something."

Kates' football journey has been an unconventional one. A high school quarterback/athlete from Surrattsville (Md.) H.S., Kates committed to Florida as a high school senior. But grades put his Division I career on hold, and he intended to enroll at Antelope Valley Community College in California to get his grades in order.

But with his family in financial trouble, Kates instead decided to put his education on hold and work for two years to help out at home.

"My mom was having a lot of problems and she wasn't able to pay all the bills, so I got a job," Kates told JCFootball.com. "I actually had planned to go out to California and play for Antelope Valley, but I felt as if it was my responsibility as her son to help her out, so I did that for two years (2006 to early 2008), but then a friend of mine and his dad saw me working out and they said I needed to give it another try so I did.

"I was going to go to Lackawanna, but I decided to come up (to Erie) to sort of get a new start and I've been really happy up here."

The new start also included a new position, as Kates moved to cornerback. In his first year at the position Kates totaled 49 tackles and three interceptions and earned first-team all-conference honors.

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