One of the hidden gems in the 2009 class in the state of Mississippi is Olive Branch (Miss.) High School safety Daren Bates. Despite a season of 90 tackles, 11 touchdowns and over 900 total yards on offense, Bates' recruitment had been slow. However, late in the process he received an offer from Arkansas State. This weekend Bates took his official visit to the program and left as a commitment.
"I committed to Arkansas State," Bates said on Sunday. "I did it yesterday. I just got back from my official visit down there. I talked to the coach and told him I committed."
Clearly the trip went well. Bates liked everything he saw and felt comfortable at his future home.
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"I liked everything down there," he said. "I liked all the coaches and the campus is nice. I like it because it's small and easy to get around."
A versatile athlete that played all over the field for his highly touted Olive Branch team, Bates will be playing a similar role in college. While he will be strictly on the defensive side of the ball, Bates will be lining up all over the field.
"They like me at safety, free, strong and then in nickel they're going to drop me down and maybe even play some corner. It makes me feel like I'll be playing at Olive Branch again the way they want to use me in so many different ways."
Now that the decision is behind him, Bates is excited at the future and glad the process is over.
"It makes the rest of the year and signing day easier on everybody and my family and stuff."