Signee Spotlight: DeMarquis Gates

National Signing Day has come and gone, and Ole Miss has added a fresh crop of Rebels to the roster. For the next several days, we'll be taking an in-depth look at each Ole Miss signee.

Scout Rating: ***
Scout Rank: 41
Size: 6-2, 215
Hometown: (Lovejoy HS) Hampton, GA
Stats: 4.6
Projected position at OM: Outside Linebacker

Accolades: HIGH SCHOOL: Rated a 3-star prospect by Scout.com. Also the 41st-ranked outside linebacker in the nation … A preseason Class 6A All-State selection by GHSF Daily … Recorded 132 tackles as a junior and was named All-Region … A three-year varsity starter from his freshman through junior seasons … Helped Lovejoy reach the Georgia 6A state championship game as a sophomore and junior … Coached in high school by Al Hughes and Edgar Carson.

Recruiting Competition: After a terrific junior season, Gates was a hot ticket in the world of recruiting, but after his knee injury leading into his senior season – which he missed completely – things tailed off a bit. By then, however, he had already committed to Ole Miss (March 28, 2013). Looking back, he did already have a good list of suitors, including Iowa, Kentucky, Mississippi State, Texas A&M and Texas Tech.

Quotable: "The way Ole Miss stuck with me the entire time, through my injury and everything, let me know without a doubt that it was a family atmosphere, family counted and I was already a part of that family."

Scouting Report: Gates was the backbone of his high school team in many ways – athletically, productively and as a leader. Like many of the Rebel signees for 2014, he has a good frame to grow on, good athleticism for versatility and the ability to play multiple positions and he's a conscientious student of the game and in the classroom.

Lovejoy Coach Edgar Carson: "Gates is an excellent athlete. He runs a 4.6 40, he benched 320 last week and he can dunk a basketball any way you want it dunked. We even played him some at safety last year because he's that kind of athlete. The kid is a leader in the weight room. Right now, he comes to our offseason workouts every morning at 6:30 and is setting a great example to our younger kids. He doesn't have to be here, but that's just who he is - he always wants to get better. With his frame, he could blow up to 240 pounds and be a middle guy. He could get up to 255 and be a defensive end. He could stay around 220-225 and be an outside linebacker. There's no way to know that, but what you do know is the raw material and attitude is there for him to be a lot of things successfully."

Coach Hugh Freeze Quote: "DeMarquis can play inside or outside linebacker. He gives us more length there and is a tenacious competitor with good speed for his size and a desire to succeed. He had 130-something tackles as a junior and was set to be a real force his senior year in high school until the knee injury. We are convinced he will come here in top condition and be ready to compete immediately. All reports we are getting from there is that he is already healthy and ready to go."


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