Bates jumps on offer

Billy Bates is a 6-6, 280-pound offensive lineman from Beaverton (Ore.) Southridge, and the recruiting process came to a screeching halt before it really ever got started. And where did it take him? Moscow, Idaho.

"I had a wonderful time," Bates told Monday about his official visit to Idaho this past weekend. "I knew going into it that I liked the coaches that I had talked to. Everyone I had talked to sounded nice and interested and when they offered a visit I knew they were interested. When I went there, I met every single coach there and they were all really nice guys, so that bumped it up even more."

OL Jarrod Schulte was Bates' host. "He told me that one of the players will be leaving because of a bad back, so I would probably see early playing time," said Billy. "I will redshirt my freshman year and then start the next four years."

Adam Shamion was also on a visit to UI and he re-affirmed his commitment to the Vandals. They also received a commitment from a JC wide receiver, according to Bates.

So what was the highlight of Billy's visit? "Probably when I got to go into Coach (Jason) Eck's office and watching film," he said. "He actually taught me plays before they offered me, so I was thinking, 'Why would he be doing this?' Then he showed me some of the different techniques they use. It was awesome."

There was a method to Eck's madess, as Head Coach Nick Holt sealed the deal for Bates. "Well, Coach Eck and I were playing a scrimmage on PS/2 in the locker room," he said. "Coach Holt was on a run. When he came back, he asked me if I was still thinking about being a Vandal. I told him that the trip has been awesome and the coaches have been treating me really great. He asked me, 'Do you want to be a Vandal?' I was like, 'Yeah'. He said, 'That's good, because we're going to offer you a full scholarship. I didn't say anything for a bit. I was in awe. He said, 'Will you accept?', and I said 'Yes, I will'. It happened right then and there."

But here's the most important question? Who won the PS/2 scrimmage, Bates or Eck? "He beat me," admitted Bates. "And one of the players - Herb Cash - he annihilated me, 56-0."

He is not interested in talking with anybody else, Bates is a Vandal now. He'll be playing tackle for UI, but which side hasn't been determined yet. "Throughout my high school career, I've always been our left-side tackle, the weak side," he said. "They put me there because of my foot speed and I just got used to it."

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