2009 Spartan Nation Football Profile: P Aaron Bates #18

2009 Spartan Nation Football Profile:Â P Aaron Bates #18

Height:  6’

Weight:Â 190

2009 Eligibility: Junior 

EXP:Â 2 Letters

Status:Â Starting Punter

 

Strengths: If you were to make a list of the best players on the Spartan football team, Bates better have his name near to the top of the list. He has few, if any, flaws in his game and will segway from MSU to the NFL when his career is done.

 

Bates is a superb directional punter who can adapt with mistakes of his teammates and has all of the tools. He is, by far, the best punter in the Big Ten and if ANYONE in the nation is better, it can’t be by far.

 

He is a great athlete for a punter and not afraid to mix it up. He doesn’t have to, but he doesn’t mind it. Here is a play from last season that best illustrates his talents.

 

Against Cal the Spartans faced a 4th and 30. It was a low snap and Bates made a tremendous recovery and showed the presence of mind to make the kick and avoid a blocked punt. It doesn’t get any better at the P position than Aaron Bates, and he is a star.

 

Amazingly, Bates is a humble and unassuming young man off of the field, and he is a fine young man. The amazing part is, that as good as he is, I have never seen him (and I have attended every one of his games) show any type of an attitude or a look at me mentality. After great plays he is quick to hug his line and go find a place waiting for his number to get called again.

 

Weakness: Bates is a star, and his teammates know it. I have written and reported extensively about this staff and the importance they place on special teams. Bates has the respect from the very top to the bottom of the program. MSU has not had a punter here like him since Craig Jarrett. Bates could learn from Jarrett to address his truly only flaw. Jarrett was a critical part of this team and was vocal, as leaders need to be.

 

Bates has a great work ethic on the field, off the field and in the classroom. He needs to go from having everyone’s respect to being a more vocal leader as Jarrett was. He has all the talent, and adding a more aggressive leader role will only help him more.

 

Final Analysis: Bates is among the nation’s best and with the way Mark Dantonio runs his system, he is also one of the most crucial cogs in the Spartan football wheel. Look for the country to take notice of this young star in 2009.

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