Elijah Gates has quickly grabbed the attention of colleges across the country.
After having just four scholarship opportunities last month, Gates has added offers from schools far and wide, including Notre Dame, Nebraska, Oregon and locally from UCLA. The four-star 5-foot-11, 170-pound Buena Park (Calif.) cornerback may also be close to another big local offer as well.
Gates attended the Elite Trojan Day at USC over the weekend and from his interactions with new USC defensive backs coach Ronnie Bradford, Gates believes a scholarship offer from USC could be coming soon, but then again…
“You know talking to Coach Bradford, just talking to him, it probably, it might come. I don't know,” he said. “I'm still praying and hope it comes, but I really don't know.”
But if that scholarship offer does come for Gates?
“I would be excited. It would be a blessing. USC is big. I really don't know where it would stand if I did get it, but it's just a big offer and would be a blessing to get an offer from them.”
“USC is a great school. If I do get an offer from them, it would be the same as other schools. I'll still just have to do my research."
With USC, Gates has some extra sources for his research. He listed Kevon Seymour, Steven Mitchell, Marvell Tell III and Dominic Davis as USC players he knows and can mine for details he might not get on a typical recruiting visit.
“I have a couple of people I know that went to USC that can give me some insider info — information about playing on the football team, how it helped them on and off the field. How everything is.”
Gates said he enjoyed his trip to USC and getting to spend some time with Bradford.
“He's a great coach. Energetic. One hundred percent honest with everything. You can tell he's serious about his work. His background speaks for itself. Coaching Hall of Famers, like he said he coached Champ Bailey when he played for the Denver Broncos.
“His whole lifestyle, you can tell he's been through it and he knows what he's talking about and that he can help you at a college level and get to the NFL at the next level.”
The No. 29 cornerback in the 2017 class (No. 6 in California) also said USC’s history stood out on the visit.
“The Heismans and the first rounders. They’ve had a lot of great guys that came from USC — top athletes and Hall of Famers. The history of it just stood out to me. It was just wonderful.”
Among other highlights of the trip, Gates also listed his time spent bonding with other players in the 2017 class, talking with the coaches, enjoying the campus and hearing current USC players talk about how they manage their time.
He easily summed up the day: “It was great. It was just great.”