2020 Mountain West Football Top 50 Players: #44, Boise State TE John Bates
The Boise State Broncos’ steady hand at tight end makes the cut for our countdown of Mountain West football’s best players.
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Proof that the things you can’t count matter.
Tight ends in college football are tough to stack up. Some teams don’t use them at all and it’s rare to see one light up the stat sheet like some of the nation’s best pass catchers, so you can be forgiven for overlooking just how valuable the next player on our list of the Mountain West’s top athletes has been to Boise State’s continued success.
John Bates has made 23 starts in his three years on the blue, but 2019 was his first year as a full-time starter and, given the wealth of new faces being broken in elsewhere on offense, his experience and zeal for doing all of the things beyond simply catching passes certainly came in handy. He still finished tied for fifth among Mountain West tight ends with 22 catches, averaging 12.4 yards per catch, but he was also an active hand in helping the Broncos’ running game improve throughout the year. Once the calendar turned to October, Boise State averaged a solid 4.73 yards per carry and scored 21 total touchdowns.
For his efforts, Bates earned an honorable mention when the all-Mountain West teams were unveiled at season’s end. He may not make as many headlines as Hank Bachmeier or George Holani, but he’s still clearly among the best tight ends in the conference.