Wallace Bates makes his needed test score
Signed with Oregon State in Class of 2004, but did not enroll ... Did not participate in football in 2004 ... Will have five years of eligibility to play four ... Picked up All-City first team honors by the Daily News while playing outside linebacker at Taft High ... Selected All-Region by SuperPrep Magazine following his senior season... Was credited with 131 tackles, including 3 QB sacks, and also had two pass interceptions during senior season ... As a junior, was credited with 102 tackles, including 13 QB sacks, and also had two pass interceptions ... Helped lead team to 13-1 record ... Earned two letters in football ... Coached in high school by Troy Star ... Also ran track ... PERSONAL: Son of Wallace and Debra Bates ... Full name is Wallace L. Bates III ... Born: April 10, 1986.
Comments from Ed Orgeron
"When Wallace gets his academic issues settled, he will have an opportunity to be a very good college linebacker. He's got all the tools necessary. Like all freshmen, he will have to hit the weight room hard and develop himself physically and mentally, but the foundation for good things is obvious."
The following information was revealed during our interview with Wallace Bates:
What is your current height and weight? "I am 6' 2", 218."
When was the last time you were timed in the 40 and what did you run? "The last time I was timed was at the USC camp. I ran a 4.52 back then. I am just as quick or maybe even a step faster now."
What do you currently max out? "335 (bench) and 545 (squat)."
What are your strengths on the field? "I am able to read the plays before they develop. I love to study defenses. I am a student of the game. I like to hit hard too."
What are you working on to take your game to that next level? "I just need to keep being a student of the game. Maybe a little more patient, and I am always humble. I just want to show coach what I am made of. They can watch all of the past film on me that they want to, but you can not tell what you are made of until you are thrown in the fire. This is my shot to play with the older guys on the D1 level."
When did you graduate from Taft High? "I graduated in May of 2004, but our season was played ' 03. I played with Steve Smith my junior year. He is the all-time leading WR in California. I had a real good junior year."
You signed with Oregon State out of high school? "Yes sir. I did two weeks up there, and I had to come back. The NCAA contested my ACT score and I had to go back home."
What have you been doing since you left Oregon State? "I sat out the whole season trying to get my test right. This semester, I am a part time student at College of Canyons. I made my score though. I will be at Ole Miss this summer. I will be a true freshman because I never enrolled full time."
When did you learn that you made a qualifying score? "It was in late February."
Have you received clearance from the NCAA on this test score? "Yea, it got cleared. I go to Oxford on May 23rd. I have enrolled in summer school for both sessions. I had my mind focused to play Spring ball at Ole Miss, but I was one point shy at the time. Hopefully I will still have enough time to get into the lineup."
How does it feel to finally have all of this behind you? "It feels good, man, I will not lie. But, I still have to do good in the classroom at Ole Miss, but it is a weight off of my back. It was just another obstacle in life I had to overcome. But now, it is time to play ball and do good in school and stay out of trouble."
What are your personal goals for your freshman year at Ole Miss? "I am not going to try and come in there and be the leader. You have to show the older people some respect, but I want to be a great team player. I want to help the team get to a BCS bowl. Coach Orgeron is bringing in great players. I just want to be a part of a BCS game at the end of the season. That is my main goal."
What will be the number one thing you will have to work on in order for you to make that impact in your freshman year? "I just have to keep making plays. That is what I am use to doing. The main thing I am going to do is make plays. That is what the game of football is all about. You either make plays or you do not. If I do not make plays, I will not be on the field. If I do make plays, everything else takes care of itself."
Did the staff set any goals, as far as what they want you to report in at? "No, not really. Me being at 218, I should be fine. If I come in at 220. I should be good to go. They know when I get in the program, I will get bigger. But I work out hard on my own, as is."
Which position do you expect to start out at when you get to Ole Miss? "Well, I want to be able to mix it up and play outside linebacker and safety. Really, just what ever they want to play me. Coach told me he going to try me out at both. I will succeed at either position because I know how Coach O's schemes work. I have been watching his defense since I was a kid. He is the best. That is why I wanted to come to Ole Miss instead of the PAC 10. I know Coach Oregon is the best defensive coach in the country. I have been watching it with my own eyes."
What else attracted you to Ole Miss? "Coaches Orgeron and Camp, I knew what type of people they were. Coach Orgeron remembered me from the USC football camp. He told me back then that he thought I could be a great player one day. When he left to Ole Miss, he called and asked me to come join him. I thought it would be a great opportunity to play for the number one defensive coach and recruiter from USC, so I came down there on an official visit. Patrick Willis was my host and we just clicked. He is real laid back like me. And I liked Oxford. It was a laid back town, somewhere you could concentrate on your ball and books."
Are you more nervous or anxious about the transition you are about to make? "I am not going to lie, I am a little of both. I am nervous and anxious. All at the same time. I know there is an opportunity for me at Ole Miss, but I am nervous how I am going to blend in being in Mississippi. I know Coach Orgeron is going to bring in a lot of players from California though. He is going to be bringing in players from everywhere, so that makes me a little more at ease. We are all going to bond and try to get Ole Miss to a BCS bowl."