It has taken a little bit more time than he would have hoped, but Olive Branch (Miss.) High School safety Daren Bates's recruiting is finally starting to pick up. Recently Bates picked up his first offer scholarship offer following an in-home visit and he expects that more offers may be very close to follow.
"Central Arkansas came by tonight," Bates said on Monday night. "He just offered right before he left. It feels like it's been a long time so it's good."
Bates is happy to get that first offer under his belt but he also feels like there may be more to come because of his communication with several other coaches.
"Supposedly when I go down to Oklahoma State the first week of January they'll offer me," he said. "I talked to Coach Trooper Taylor last week and he's working to get that official visit and getting that offer."
Bates has built a strong relationship with Coach Taylor and talks to him often.
"I talk to them once or twice a week and they call me. Coach Trooper Taylor, he calls me and I really appreciate that."
Because of that relationship, Bates has the Cowboys very high on his list at this point.
"I like Oklahoma State because of the way their season went this year and when I talk to Trooper Taylor and he says how much he likes me and the coaching staff likes me."
Bates also is considering visits to Arkansas State and Louisiana Tech and has an official visit set up for Central Arkansas on Jan. 16.
For his senior year, the season started with high expectations for Bates and his teammates at Olive Branch. Though 2008 was still a very successful year, Olive Branch still fell earlier in the playoffs than Bates would have liked.
"We lost in the second round to Madison Central before we could get back to South Panola," he said, referring to an earlier close loss to the defending state champions. "We lost (Rivals250 safety) Rod Woodson in the second quarter with an injury after an interception. We lost the quarterback too and were playing a freshman quarterback. They kept throwing away from the strong side with me and (two-star cornerback) Kesuhn Cowan."