Bates Sets Decision Date

Defensive end Jalen Bates of Kaplan, Louisiana has racked up the travel miles this summer visiting locales as close to home as LSU and as far away as Michigan. Bates holds offers from several programs, but a trio of programs appear to be driving the process towards a September decision date.

Jalen Bates profile

"Recruiting has been going great, but I am still expecting things to pick up," said Bates. "There are still a lot of schools talking about offering me later on."

Those schools looking to throw their hats into the ring may need to do so soon.

"I am closing things out pretty soon," said Bates. "I plan on making my decision on September 19th at the pep rally for homecoming.

"The three schools I am going to choose from are Mississippi State, Texas Tech and UL (Louisiana)."

Bates reports that he has seen some real positives with all three programs.

Mississippi State has had the chance to host Bates twice as a camp visitor over the course of the last two months.

"I really like the coaches at Mississippi State a lot," said Bates. "A lot of coaches are all about business and they just want to recruit you.

"I have a relationship with the coaches at Mississippi State like I do with my high school coaches.

"They just make you feel comfortable around them.

"I like Coach (David) Turner and Coach (Dan) Mullen a lot.

"They are talking about me playing defensive end there."

Texas Tech has also done a solid of join of making Bates feel like a priority.

"I like the coaches out there a lot too," said Bates. "They are young and they keep it lively.

"I like the energy that they have and they want me to play outside linebacker in a three four.

"I feel like that position is really more of my natural position.

"I think I could have more value at linebacker and that would help my future.

"I am not saying that you can't get drafted as a defensive end, but I think there is more value playing in a two point stance rather than me playing with my hand on the ground."

The Ragin' Cajuns of Louisiana hold a special place in Bates' thoughts.

"UL is like thirty minutes from my house," said Bates. "I like Coach Hud (Mark Hudspeth) and all of the coaches there a lot.

"I feel like if I went there and helped them win championships then I would be doing something great for my area and for all of the people around here."

The homecoming crowd will be happy with Bates' decision no matter which direction he takes, but the rising senior wants to share the moment with those people who have supported him along the way.

"I am going to put the hats down on the table and then make my decision at the pep rally with all of my friends, coaches and family," said Bates. "I kind of know which school I want to go to, but I am still thinking about everything.

"I want to go somewhere that the coaches can develop me and get the most out of me.

"I don't want them to let me pout, but to get on me and push me to be my very best.

"I know I can get my degree and have a good college experience at any of the schools that have offered me, but I want to play for coaches who want to get the most out of me as a football player."

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