Pittsburgh offers another PA lineman

Pennsylvania is loaded with blue chip lineman this season. Obviously, Walt Harris and his staff at Pittsburgh know that as well. Pittsburgh has offered three of the best: Jason Kacinko, Kurt Mattes, and Zack Anderson already. They have a commitment from a fourth, Burrell's John Brown. Saturday at Blue Chip day several more were in attendence.

Harris has been often criticized for not pursuing kids in his own state. Well, I think it's safe too say that's not the case this season. The Panthers offered another lineman from the Keystone State on Saturday, OG Elliot Bates (6-3, 285, 5.1) of Chartiers-Houston High School. Elliot has been to Pitt a few times and had a feeling an offer may have been coming his way.

"I've been down there several times, so I wasn't surprised. Pitt has been recruiting me very hard. I get a letter from them almost everyday," said Bates.

Along with Pittsburgh, several other teams have showed an interest in Bates including: Purdue, Iowa, Notre Dame, Syracuse, Indiana, Wisconsin, and Virginia. The 1st Team All Black Hills Conference and 2nd Team AP All-State selection has an early list of favorites.

"Right now, I like Pittsburgh and Iowa the most, followed by Notre Dame, Wisconsin, and Purdue."

One team that hasn't showed an interest in Bates is Penn State. The big man grew up as a fan of the Nittany Lions and is disappointed by their lack of interest.

"I always liked them, but they have shown no interest. Pittsburgh stepped up to the plate and showed that they want me there."

Iowa is a team that Bates is interested in as well.

"I went to their camp last summer, I really liked the environment and the coaches."

Pittsburgh and Iowa are the only two campuses that Bates has seen. He has plans on attending the Nike Combine in Columbus, OH and summer camps at Penn State, Notre Dame, Purdue, and Wisconsin. Besides football, Elliot is quite the accomplished wrestler. This season he wrestled in the 275 lb class. He was the runner-up in the WPIAL and qualified for state's finishing the season at 29-7. He is currently throwing the shot and discus for the Chartiers-Houston track team.

Insiders interview with OG Elliot Bates Chartiers-Houston High School

What attracts you to the University of Pittsburgh?

"It's close to home. My family loves Pitt. They have a very good academic program and the facilities are one of the best in the country."

How would you describe your style of play?

"I just try and go 100% every play. I try and be as physical as possible. I take pride in my offensive play. If my QB gets sacked or my RB gets tackled, it's like someone slapped me in my face."

What are your goals for the 2004 season?

"I want to be picked 1st team All-State. I'd like to help get my team on the winning track before I leave. I would love to be on the Big 33 team."

Are there any players in the NFL or college you like to watch?

"Dwight Freeney, the speed he plays with rushing off the edge. I also like Robert Gallery. He is just so physical."

What are the biggest deciding factors for you, when you decide on a school?

"Education is something I take very serious. I am all about schoolwork and sports. The environment around me will be important as well. I want to be comfortable."

When will you decide?

"I think in August, before the season starts, I'll announce."

Bates bench presses 270 lbs, squats 450 lbs and maintains a 3.16 GPA. He will be taking his SATs in May.


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