We continue our series that will take a look at redshirt freshmen who should make an impact on the field in 2016. Yesterday we examined wide receiver Steven Claude, and today we will focus on safety Jessie Bates. Let’s learn more about the redshirt freshman from Indiana.
Bates played his high school football at Snider in Fort Wayne, Indiana. He was a very accomplished high school player and was twice named first-team all-state. During his senior season he recorded nine interceptions, and he should help bring that playmaking ability to the Wake Forest defense, which forced just 11 turnovers (6 interceptions and 5 fumble recoveries) all last season.
I’m very excited about what Bates can bring to the table this season, and in future years. I expect him to be the most athletic safety on the roster. I do not know if he will beat out either senior Ryan Janvion or sophomore Cameron Glenn for a starting role, but he will definitely receive his fair share of playing time. Coach Clawson has said that, and he earned it with his play in the spring. Bates accumulated 8 tackles and had a forced fumble in the spring game, as well as a punt return for 17 yards. He has the ability to contribute on special teams both with his ability to tackle in space, as well as returning kicks.
Clawson and company beat out Iowa for Bates’ services, and that signing will pay dividends this fall.