With Brent Curvey set to departure after this season, and limited depth along
the defensive line, it comes as no surprise the Cyclones have searched far and
wide for impact players.
That search led defensive line coach Mike Nelson to Northeast Mississippi
Community College last spring where he was able to discover Brandon Bates.
"I got a call from Coach Nelson last May telling me he was offering me a scholarship," Bates informed CycloneNation.com
"He told me he really liked how well I could run for my size, and said they didn't have any defensive
lineman like me on their team. He liked how I made a lot of plays, and told me they needed a guy like me."
Bates continued to communicate with Coach Nelson throughout the summer, which led to weekly phones from the Cyclone assistant once the month of September reached.
It was during those weekly conversations in September that the decision was made for Bates to make his official visit to Ames last weekend.
"I knew it was going to be a great environment for the Nebraska game," added Bates, who sat out his team's game last week with a sprained MCL, but will return this week.
"I arrived in Ames on Friday, and received a tour from the student coaches around the facilities. I
really liked the fact that their stadium is the only stadium in the country named after an African-American."
"I went to the team hotel to meet with the coaches and players, and it was a very warm welcome," Bates said.
"I met with Coach Nelson for the first time, and it was liked I wanted. We just shooted the breeze, and he treated me like I was one of his own. The coaches at Iowa State will take you in as if you are their child, but at the same time will be stern to make sure you are doing the right things."
Kurtis Taylor hosted Bates on his visit, along with duties in hosting fellow junior college prospect Brandon Whittie.
"(Kurtis) looked like a player to me, but I found out he was injured so that is why he wasn't playing. I
like how he handled his business, and kept his cool. He had everyone's respect, and told me you don't eat for free at Iowa State. You have to earn what you are
going to get," Bates stated.
According to Bates, the Cyclones are the only program currently showing him strong interest.
"Iowa State is the only school that has been directly talking to me this fall," added Bates, who
plans to major in computer science. "I'm sure there are schools talking to my coach, but he doesn't want us to worry about that stuff until after the season. Right now, Iowa State is the top school on my list."
Bates attended Deshler High School in Tuscumbia, Alabama.
Bates is expected to graduate in May, and will have three years of eligibility remaining to play two
seasons. He was a non-qualifier out of high school, and did not sign a letter of intent.