UK Football

Four-star tight end Brenden Bates is latest 2018 recruit to commit to UK

Four-star tight end Brenden Bates, right, posted a photo to Twitter of himself with UK commitment Alex Reigelsperger, left, UK target L’Christian Smith and UK recruiting coordinator Vince Marrow during a visit to Lexington last month.
Four-star tight end Brenden Bates, right, posted a photo to Twitter of himself with UK commitment Alex Reigelsperger, left, UK target L’Christian Smith and UK recruiting coordinator Vince Marrow during a visit to Lexington last month.

Four-star tight end Brenden Bates announced his commitment to the Kentucky Wildcats on Friday.

Bates — a 6-foot-5, 220-pound prospect from Cincinnati — is the fifth member of Mark Stoops’ recruiting class of 2018. He is the second player to attend UK’s most recent “junior day” event and then join the Wildcats’ class, following four-star defensive end Alex Reigelsperger, another Ohio native who committed late last month.

Rivals.com and 247Sports both rank Bates as a four-star player and a top-10 tight end nationally in the 2018 class. He attends Archbishop Moeller in Cincinnati, a program that has had several successful tight ends over the past few years, including Bates’ older brother Doug Bates, who signed with the hometown Bearcats in 2015. Bates’ father is also a former player for Cincinnati, and the Bearcats were among the many other schools to extend a scholarship offer to Brenden Bates.

Louisville, Iowa, Pittsburgh, Minnesota, Duke and Vanderbilt were among his other offers. Clemson, Notre Dame, Florida State and Penn State were also showing interest in his recruitment.

Kentucky was the first school to offer Bates, doing so in June. He had 15 catches for 224 yards and a touchdown during his junior season this past fall, playing behind senior Matt Dotson, a Michigan State signee. Before that, Ohio State’s Jake Hausmann was Moeller’s star tight end.

“(Bates) looks like the natural at that tight end position,” said Rivals.com recruiting analyst Josh Helmholdt. “And part of that is playing behind a Jake Hausmann and a Matt Dotson, and watching those guys develop and knowing what it takes to be an elite tight end. I think that’s certainly helped him stay ahead of the curve from a skill standpoint. He has the natural ability, but at the same time, he also knows what it takes to be a top tight end because he has that leadership ahead of him.”

Rivals.com ranks Bates as the No. 8 player from the state for the class of 2018, and he’s the No. 222 overall prospect in the country, making him the first “Rivals 250” recruit to join UK’s class for next year. Vince Marrow is his primary recruiter at Kentucky.

UK’s projected roster for the 2018 season includes only two returning, scholarship tight ends: CJ Conrad, who will be a senior in 2018, and Justin Rigg, who will be a sophomore. The Wildcats are expected to take two tights ends in the 2018 class.

Bates joins Reigelsperger and three other commitments — quarterback Jarren Williams, wide receiver Marvin Alexander and defensive end Davoan Hawkins — to form UK’s class so far, a group that’s already ranked among the Top 25 classes nationally by Rivals.com.

UK football commitments for the class of 2018

Player

Pos

Ht

Wt

Hometown

Rivals

Scout

ESPN

247Sports

Marvin Alexander

WR

6-3

175

Hollywood, Fla.

***

***

***

Brenden Bates

TE

6-5

220

Cincinnati, Ohio

****

***

****

Davoan Hawkins

DE

6-5

250

Hollywood, Fla.

***

***

***

Alex Reigelsperger

DE

6-5

235

Huber Heights, Ohio

***

***

****

***

Jarren Williams

QB

6-3

207

Lawrenceville, Ga.

***

***

***

***

Related stories from Lexington Herald Leader

  Comments