Stock rising for Wood's Bates

Ryan Bates, offensive tackle
Ryan Bates, offensive tackle
Posted: February 07, 2014

 For his on-field mean streak and lights-out blocking, Ryan Bates was a high-profile member of the football Class of 2015 even before Archbishop Wood's drive last season to the PIAA Class AAA state championship.

The offensive tackle's recruiting stock has continued to rise, with Big Ten powers Michigan and Michigan State, last year's conference champion, offering scholarships to the 6-foot-5, 280-pound stalwart last week.

"It's real exciting," said Bates, an Inquirer first-team all-Southeastern Pennsylvania selection last season. "Your heart starts pumping a little bit harder when you find out programs like that want you."

Bates is the latest in a long line of rock-solid offensive linemen to play at Wood, joining Colin Thompson (now at Florida), Frank Taylor (Boston College), and Brandon and Nick Arcidiacono (both at Rutgers).

"He's one of the best I've ever coached," said Wood coach Steve Devlin, who is 84-16 in seven seasons at the Warminster school. "He's big, strong, has great technique. He has all the tools."

Last season, with Bates primarily at left tackle, the Vikings averaged a whopping 39 points in posting a 12-3 record and claiming the program's second state crown.

"He's great at finishing blocks, even if he has to go down the field to do it," Devlin said. "He's relentless, which is what you want from one of your linemen."

Bates, who last fall bench-pressed 285 pounds and squatted 475, also has scholarship offers from Duke, Illinois, Maryland, Penn State, South Carolina, and Virginia, among others.

Last month, while making the rounds in the Philadelphia area, new Penn State coach James Franklin stopped at Wood to check in on Bates and junior linebacker Jake Cooper.

"I got a good vibe from Coach Franklin," Bates said. "He's real energetic, has a good sense of humor. He seems like a genuine person."

Recently, Bates spent about 45 minutes talking on the phone with Franklin and Penn State assistants Herb Hand, the offensive-line coach, and John Donovan, the offensive coordinator.

"They had watched me on film that morning," the 16-year-old from Warrington said. "They told me they liked the way I play. Coach Hand said he liked my aggressiveness and the way I stayed with blocks."

Bates, a four-star recruit according to Rivals.com, said he plans to sit down soon with his parents and Devlin to discuss possible college and junior-day trips. In the interim, he plans to continue training for the 2014 season.

"I want to become a better overall player," he said. "I want to get quicker, faster, stronger. With football, it's a year-round commitment."


The Best of the Class of 2015

The Inquirer projects these players as the top high school senior football recruits next year.

Rk.   Player   School   Pos.   Ht.   Wt.

   

1   John Reid   St. Joseph's Prep   DB   5-10   180   

2   Ryan Bates   Archbishop Wood   OL   6-5   280   

3   Josh Adams   Central Bucks South   RB   6-3   205   

4   Jon Daniel Runyan   St. Joseph's Prep   OL   6-4   250   

5   Shareef Miller   Frankford   DE   6-5   220   

6   Kyle Shurmur   La Salle   QB   6-4   215   

7   Jake Cooper   Archbishop Wood   LB   6-3   230   

8   Olamide Zaccheaus   St. Joseph's Prep   RB   5-8   180   

9   Ryan Buchholz   Great Valley   DL   6-6   235   

10   Jay Stocker   Coatesville   DB   6-2   190   

11   D.J. Moore   Imhotep Charter   WR   6-1   180   

12   Amir Ealey   Coatesville   TE   6-4   235   

13   Bryan White   W.C. Henderson   OL-DL   6-2   260   

14   Samir Bullock   Archbishop Ryan   RB   5-7   165   

15   Kevin Murphy   West Chester East   DL   6-2   250   

16   Ryan Bischoff   Plymouth Whitemarsh   OL   6-5   285   

17   Dimetri Kelly   Roman Catholic   RB   6-0   200   

18   Hayden Mahoney   Malvern Prep   OL-DL   6-5   275   

19   Nasir Bonner   Imhotep Charter   RB   5-10   180   

20   Chauncey Simmons   Haverford School   OL-DL   6-3   325   

21   Ahkeema Evans   Coatesville   DB   5-11   175   

22   Charles Snorweah   Pennsbury   RB   5-10   175   

23   Alex Hornibrook   Malvern Prep   QB   6-4   205   

24   Jarrett McClenton   Archbishop Wood   RB   5-8   160   

25   Shaquille Jones   Imhotep Charter   LB   6-2   200   

Rk.   Player   School   Pos.   Ht.   Wt.

   

1.   Juwan Johnson   Glassboro   WR   6-4   190   

2.   Kareem Ali   Timber Creek   DB   5-10   175   

3.   Irv Charles   Paul VI   WR   6-4   210   

4.   Sterling Sheffield   Clearview   TE-LB   6-2   220   

5.   Ronnie James   Glassboro   DB   5-11   180   

6.   Ryquell Armstead   Millville   RB   6-0   185   

7.   Chris Corley   Shawnee   LB   6-1   215   

8.   Dan Iannone   Cherokee   OL-DL   6-3   260   

9.   Rob Ennis   Millville   RB   5-10   175   

10.   Denzell Polk   Kingsway   DE/LB   6-2   220   

11.   Justin Kennedy   St. Joseph   OL-DL   6-3   250   

12.   C.J. LaFragola   St. Joseph   LB   5-11   195   

13.   Tyreek Smith   Moorestown   DT   6-1   240   

14.   Kimi Lewis   St. Joseph   OL-DL   6-1   265   

15.   J.T. Thompson   Sterling   DT   6-0   260   

16.   Mark Walker   Haddonfield   LB   6-0   195   

17.   Davon Tucker   Sterling   LB   6-0   200   

18.   Shaun Bradley   Rancocas Valley   DB   6-1   190   

19.   Rocco Ordille   St. Joseph   RB-DB   5-11   180   

20.   Jake Kull   West Deptford   OL   6-1   260   

21.   Jamir Washington   Camden   DB-WR   6-0   160   

22.   Jake Robinson   Haddonfield   WR-DB   6-3   200   

23.   Vince Papale   Bishop Eustace   WR   6-1   185   

24.   Jordan Taylor   Holy Spirit   WR   6-5   190   

25.   Daren Sherif   Timber Creek   DE-LB   6-2   215   

- Rick O'Brien and Phil Anastasia


robrien@phillynews.com

@ozoneinq

www.inquirer.com/ozone

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