Laney CB Good to Go After Fall

Laney College (Calif.) cornerback Joe Bates had D1 options coming out of Skyline High School in Oakland but chose Division 1AA Portland State over offers from San Jose St., UNLV, Hawaii and Utah State. His choice didn't matter. The NCAA Clearinghouse told him he didn't qualify, so his football life was thrown for a loop.

"I had moved up there to Portland because they were pretty sure I was going to make it in, but the Clearinghouse said I didn't make it," Bates told recently.  "I was living in an apartment and everything and working out and then I had to just pick up and move back.

"I got back down (to Oakland) and registered for classes at Laney and three days later I was starting for them."

But just because he didn't know the plays doesn't mean he didn't hold his own.

"I got out there and I was like ‘Coach what do I do?' and he just said ‘Play cover two' so that's what I did," Bates said with a laugh.  "It was weird being thrown out there like that, but I had fun and after a couple weeks I knew the names of the plays and stuff.  I had a pretty good first year."

Bates, who runs the 40 in 4.5 seconds and has a 36-inch vertical leap, played in seven games before a minor knee-injury sidelined him for the remainder of the season.  He finished with three interceptions, 47 tackles, seven pass breakups and a fumble recovery. 

On the recruiting front, Bates is hearing from several schools but he said there are four that are recruiting him the hardest.

"Washington State is probably recruiting me the toughest right now," Bates said.  "They said they liked me and I sent them my tape.  I'm just waiting to hear back from them.  I would say they are the closest to offering me.

"Purdue and San Jose State are really starting to come on too and Texas A&M has shown me a lot of attention lately with text messages and letters and stuff.  So I'm just waiting to see what happens."

In addition to his top four, Bates said interest is coming from UNLV, Oregon State, Louisiana Tech, Idaho State, Utah and Fresno State.

"I'm going to get my degree this December so I'm looking for some early offers so I can make an early decision," Bates said.  "I'll be on campus for spring practices and everything so I need to decide where I'm going pretty quickly after I get some offers."

Bates will have three years to play two and plans to major in Sociology, but wants to be a chef after his playing days are over.


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