Carducci reports he spoke with Jim Christian the men's basketball coach at Kent State, and Christian informed him that Antonio Gates has signed with the San Diego Chargers.
The news was somewhat expected here at Chargers Update as we knew we were in serious discussions with Gates and the battle for his services was down to two teams, Cleveland and the Bolts.
Gates a 6-5, 250-pound power forward on the Kent State basketball team ran through drills in front of Chargers coaches last month leaving an enormous impression. The several NFL teams in attendance thought he could turn into a gem as a pro tight end.
San Diego Chargers tight ends coach Tim Brewster said, "He has all the qualities you look for in a tight end."
"Antonio has some quick-twitch explosiveness," Brewster said. "Obviously in basketball, he was a very quick jumper. He shows some things athletically and is very natural with his hands.
"His hand-eye coordination is outstanding. He really sees the ball well into his hands. These are things he does very, very easily. Where a lot of guys struggle and sometimes it is more of a fight, he does it naturally. He is not in great shape right now (after the ankle injury) ... but once he gets into shape and completely turns his mind set to football, we have a chance to have something here. He is a very interesting guy."
"He did nothing to harm himself. I wish you'd tell everybody in the NFL that the Chargers thought he was horrible," said Brewster at the private workout last month.
Now the Chargers have secured their man.
Denis Savage can be reached at Denis@ChargerUpdate.com or via the following link: Denis Savage
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