ATH Is Blowing Up

When we did our first story on Concord (Calif.) De La Salle athlete Jackie Bates a few months back, we mentioned that you don't see too many backup running backs earn All-State underclass honors. Another thing you don't see is too many backups with seven scholarship offers in early June but like we said before, Bates is no ordinary backup.

Bates, 5-9, 180 pounds is easily one of the top athletes on the West Coast. Playing behind Hot 100 teammate Maurice Drew, Bates still rushed 69 times for 747 yards and 15 touchdowns. He also started in the secondary totaling 77 tackles and three interceptions. He has a personal best 10.7 time in the 100m and had a monster showing at the NorCal Nike Camp.

Bates clocked a 4.35 in the 40, 4.09 in the shuttle, jumped 38 inches in the vertical and did 19 reps on the bench. He worked out with the running backs and had a great showing battling Oakland Tech's Marshawn Lynch as the top back of the day.

Although Bates loves running back, many, including Spartan assistant head coach Terry Eidson, feel the defensive side of the ball is his future meal ticket.

"I think cornerback is his best college position," Eidson said. "When I first saw him this past spring, I couldn't believe how much faster he looked. He can really run and is a very good football player. With Jackie on one side and Willie (Glasper) on the other, I think we'll be pretty strong in the secondary."

Bates currently has offers from Arizona, Cal, Colorado, Colorado State, Oregon, Oregon State and UNLV. At the NorCal Nike Camp, he listed his favorites as UCLA, Cal, USC, Texas, Florida and Oklahoma.

"Coach Embree at UCLA hinted that they would be offering at their Junior Day last weekend but we weren't able to make the trip," Bates' uncle pat said. "He was also planning to attend Cal's one day camp this Saturday but he'll be taking the SAT now and can't make it.

"Right now, Jackie isn't planning to attend any summer camps. He just wants to work really hard and make his mark as the next great running back to come out of De La Salle."

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