McCarney & Fitch - Pocket Aces!

There were two quarterback prospects that stood out in my eyes this past Saturday at the All-American combine in Iowa City. Michigan's Keith Nichol and Nebraska's Phillip Bates was a notch above the competition. Bates, a 6-foot-2, 195-pounder, from North high in Omaha was supposed to headed to Lincoln to play his college football with his teammate Niles Paul but on the way from Iowa City, he pulled a shocker.

"It was nice to see all the coaches from Iowa State at the combine last Saturday." Phillip Bates said.

"Seeing the coaches there at the combine reminded me a lot about my visit to Ames and how much I liked Coach (Todd) Fitch and Coach (Dan) McCarney.

"On the way home from the combine, I told my dad that I wanted to commit to Iowa State. We called my mom and told her. When I got home, my family went out to eat. I told my parents and sisters again that I wanted to go to Iowa State.

"I called Coach McCarney later that night and committed. It just seemed like a natural fit. Coach Fitch is a great guy and he told me he's going to take my skills and make me a great quarterback.

"As for the competition at Iowa State, it's the same everywhere. If I had committed to Nebraska, I would've had Harrison Beck in front of me. At Iowa State, there's Austin Arnaud. It goes with the territory."

Bates was moved up to the varsity as a sophomore but he didn't take the starting reigns at quarterback until last fall. Bates had 2,200 all-purpose yards and had a combined passing and rushing touchdown mark of 22 in 2005.

Nebraska and Iowa State were the only two schools that offered Bates a scholarship. Phillip told us that Tennessee, Vanderbilt and Florida were also very interested in his services.

"I'm happy with my decision and now I want to get ready for my senior season." Bates said.

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