Bloomington – If all goes well this weekend, Andre Kates says there will be no more doubts about where he'll play his college football.
Soon after the 6'0", 193-pound cornerback from ASA College in Brooklyn, N.Y., verbally committed to Indiana in May, speculation surfaced that Kates might not wind up in Bloomington next fall. With 20-plus scholarship offers in hand, major programs weren't shutting down their efforts with him simply because he'd announced his intentions to go to Indiana.
But after this weekend, Kates says his message to other program will change to "thanks, but no thanks" if all goes well during his official visit to Bloomington.
"I've talked to my parents and coaches about it, and if I really like the visit and it goes well, then I'm going to go ahead and be 100 percent committed and not do any more visits," Kates said.
So what will make this weekend's visit meet that criteria? Kates said he can't necessarily put his finger on what it will take, other than wanting to "feel like I'm at home." He'll be arriving in Bloomington Friday and staying through Sunday, and he said he does have a handful of things he wants to see while he's in town.
"First off, I want to check out the facilities because I've heard some really good things about them," Kates said. "I also want to get a feel for the fans. Even if IU gets down, I want to see that they're still into the game and not leaving. I also want to check out the campus and make sure it's what it needs to be for me."
Kates also expects to spend time with IU junior safety Jerimy Finch during his visit. The two know each other since both originally committed to the University of Florida a couple of years ago. Since then, their paths have gone in different directions, but they have once again intersected at IU.
If Indiana can solidify Kates' commitment, it would be huge for a program that is in need of a difference maker at the cornerback position in the 2010 class. An elite high school recruit in 2006 when he originally verballed to Florida as a quarterback/athlete, Kates has since developed into one of the country's top JUCO corners. He had eight tackles, two passes broken up and an blocked punt for a touchdown in ASA's season-opening 56-43 win over Milford, while last week's opponent, Hudson Valley CC, steered clear of throwing the ball in his direction all afternoon.
To make sure teams aren't able to take him out of the game by avoiding his half of the field, Kates said his ASA coaches has been sliding him over to a Rover position at times, allowing him to play one-on-one coverage against a slot receiver and to be in a position to help stop the run and occasionally blitz.
"I like (playing Rover)," Kates said. "I had a sack and then almost got another one. It also lets me work on my one-on-one skills because the slot guy a lot of times is a really good speed guy. Then I can also work on getting off blocks and making plays."
Those are all things the IU staff would love to see Kates doing for them next season, and if this weekend's visit goes well they'll no longer have to worry about whether or not he'll be signing in February.
"They're saying I can come in and make a difference," Kates said. "I just hope the other 10 guys on the field want to go as hard as I want to go. I've heard good things about the coaches and the program, and I'm anxious and itching to get to a big-time bowl game."
Kates Set for IU Official Visit
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