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2021 NFL Draft Prospect Interview: John Bates, TE, Boise State University

John Bates the all-around tight end from Boise State recently sat down with NFL Draft Diamonds owner Damond Talbot.
  • Name: John Bates
  • Position: TE
  • College: Boise State University 
  • Height: 6’5 1/2
  • Weight: 255
  • Twitter: @jjohnbates

Right now, people are not talking about you the way I feel they should. Do you feel you are an underdog?

  • I don’t want to be labeled as an underdog, because I know my talent and I know my worth, but I think that a lot of the public undervalues me as a player and as an addition to an organization. I feel like I’ve proven myself through film and my pro day workouts in terms of what I can do on the field. I feel like I’m the best all around TE in this draft class and have a lot to offer to teams. I have a ton of experience at all the different tight end positions on the field along with a ton of special teams reps compared to a lot of players in this class. Being undervalued, or looked past in the beginning is something I’ve always dealt with though. No matter what the situation is or what pre draft grade I get, I’ll just continue to put my head down and work to prove to everybody that I am the player I know I am. 

What is one thing that NFL teams should know about you?

  • I want NFL teams to know that I’m a person of integrity and commitment and that I am very hardworking. I do things the right way, the way they should be done even when others aren’t looking. I will do whatever it takes in order to guarantee the team’s success and do whatever it takes to make that happen. I’m the type of player that buys into a culture 110%. When I’m in, it’s full speed ahead and no looking back. Lastly, I’m a winner. Growing up, and all the way through college, I was a part of winning traditions and cultures. Winning tradition is a part of me and a part of what I bring to the table, the mentality to win. 

If you could donate to one cause in the world, what would it be?

  • If I could donate to one cause, it would be towards kids around the world who suffer from cleft lip. Being born with a cleft lip, I understand the troubles that can come from being born with this. I hope someday to donate and/or help people with the repair of cleft lips to hopefully have the same positive outcome that I was fortunate enough to have.

Who was your childhood hero?

  • My childhood hero was Usain Bolt. He was an incredible track athlete and won multiple olympic and world championship medals, along with breaking multiple world records as well. It was not only amazing to watch him dominate the competition he went up against, but to see the background where he came from and show that no matter the circumstance or resources you have, that you can accomplish anything you want with hardwork and determination. 

Who is the most underrated teammate in your locker room at your school?

  • The most underrated teammate in my locker room at Boise State was definitely Octavius Evans. He is a DUDE in everything he does. Amazing athlete, wide receiver, and overall person. He’s fast, runs great routes, makes contested and 50/50 catches, he’s a great blocker, one of the hardest workers I’ve ever been around and a great person to interact with on a personal level as well.

What is your biggest pet peeve?

  • My biggest pet peeve is when people slack off when they’re given a rare opportunity. As an athlete from a small town, I know that it takes a lot of hard work and perseverance to achieve high set goals, and along the way I’ve seen people not taking advantage of some pretty unique opportunities which can be really frustrating when you’re a team oriented person. We can always control our attitude and our effort in what we do, so seeing people not utilize their God given talents with a good attitude and high effort is hard to see.

Overcoming adversity is what defines character, what was the hardest moment in your life to overcome?

  • One thing that was really hard for me was ending my collegiate career the way it did by not getting to play in my last college game/conference championship. Covid had a big impact on every team this year, and I know in some cases it was worse than others. Getting covid towards the end of the season, I ended up having to miss playing in our conference championship by 12 hours due to strict protocol. Ending my collegiate career that way was extremely difficult to deal with, but something that I learned from this is that everything happens for a reason and to always keep that in mind whenever adversity rolls around.

Tell me something about your school and why it is so special to you?

  • Boise State Football is a program built around a blue collar culture and a brotherhood that lasts forever. It’s a place where underdogs come to play, show up to work everyday and give it their all day in and day out. It’s not just about what you show to the fans on gameday, but it’s a lifestyle and a way you do things all the time. We honor those who came before us, those who are currently playing, and the ones to come after in order to withhold the same standard and culture year after year. Once a Bronco, always a bronco.

What is your favorite snack food?

  • My favorite snack food is chips and salsa, can’t go wrong with that! 

The NFL Draft is quickly approaching, If you could sell yourself in one sentence what would you say?

  • You will be getting the best all around person and most versatile tight end in this class. 

If you could compare your play to one player in the NFL who would it be?

  • I would compare myself to Rob Gronkowski. From our size and length comparison, as well as the ability to be efficient in both the run and pass game. 

If you could have dinner with three people dead or alive, who would it be and why?

  • The three people I would have dinner with would be Jesus, Kobe Bryant, and Steve Carrell. Might be a funny answer because of the vast differences, but I feel like each dinner would be so unique. I would love to hear the stories they have and hopefully get some advice and from all of them to help me in my future. 

NFL Draft Diamonds was created to assist the underdogs playing the sport. We call them diamonds in the rough. My name is Damond Talbot, I have worked extremely hard to help hundreds of small school players over the past several years, and will continue my mission. We have several contributors on this site, and if they contribute their name and contact will be in the piece above. You can email me at nfldraftdiamonds@gmail.com

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