Tempe Visit Exceeds Bates’ Expectations

With an in-season decision looming large, time is of the essence for Jalen Bates. Over the weekend the Kaplan (La.) defensive lineman began his official visit circuit at Arizona State and as he told Devils Digest was plenty intrigued by his experience in Tempe.

“It was more than I expected,” Bates admitted. “It wasn’t all desert and it was a real cool city. I don’t want to play in cold weather, so I like the heat. I loved the community there all and the facilities there were top of the line. The thing that impressed me the most were the coaches. They kept it real and were very welcoming and explained everything to me.

“I got to talk to some linemen like Corey Smith, who’s from Louisiana and Tashon Smallwood a freshman who’s starting there. They told me about the transition going far away from home to live here and told me how the school helps you out.”

We saw the 6-5 240-pound Jalen Bates observing Arizona State’s practice Sunday afternoon; the lineman was tracking both the Devil backer group as well as the defensive linemen unit. The Sun Devil staff told Bates he could play either position.

“The coaches said that if I stay at my weight now and am still quick I would play Devil backer,” Bates remarked. “If I gain 30 more pounds like I want to, I would play defensive end. The coaches told me that they like how aggressive and explosive I am, and that is something you can’t coach someone to do. They said I’m raw so they would work more on my technique.

“I saw their practice and watched game film, and I really liked how the line gets after it and doesn’t wait for the offense to make a play. That’s the type of defense I want to play in.”

In a recent interview, Bates listed in no order a top five of Texas Tech, Arizona State, Mississippi State, Louisiana Lafayette, and Michigan. The lineman told us that he has a tentative visit to Louisiana Lafayette this coming weekend and that he will visit Texas Tech on September 12th.

“I could visit Michigan and Michigan State,” Bates remarked. “But I don’t have any visits scheduled. I plan to make my decision next month. I’m not looking for a school that has the glamour and all that. I want to go to a school where I have a good relationship with the coaches who can develop me and help me play at the next level.”

Click here for Bates’ highlights.

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