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Breaking: Wake Forest’s Jessie Bates III Declares for 2018 NFL Draft

The redshirt sophomore strong safety has decided to go ahead and declare for this year’s NFL Draft, forgoing his final two years in the Old Gold and Black

NCAA Football: Wake Forest at Boston College Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

Wake Forest redshirt sophomore Jessie Bates III announced via his Twitter account today that he will declare for the 2018 NFL Draft.

Despite battling injuries this season, Bates III was one of the best safeties in the ACC and was projected as a 1st to 2nd round draft pick in the 2019 Draft. Presumably after doing some research and figuring out where he might land, he has decided to go ahead and declare for this year’s NFL Draft.

In two seasons at Wake Forest Bates started 22 games, accruing 179 tackles, 6 INTs, 3 touchdowns, and a handful of other stats.

Bates was recruited by Dave Clawson and current Texas A&M defensive coordinator Mike Elko.

While this is absolutely fantastic for Bates III and we wish him nothing but the best, this is a huge hit to the Wake Forest secondary for 2018. Cameron Glenn will return at the free safety position, and presumably redshirt sophomore Luke Masterson will step into the strong safety void left by the Bates III departure.

We will have more on this moving forward, but for right now we want to extend the warmest congratulations to Jessie Bates III and cannot wait to see how he does on Sundays for a long time.

Go Deacs!