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Boise State tight end John Bates lands on Mackey Award Watch List for third straight season

John Bates is the only Group of 5 player named to the watch list and only one of 5 players to be named to it for the last three seasons.
Credit: Steve Conner
Boise State tight end John Bates reaches out to stiff arm Fresno State linebacker George Helmuth in the second half of an NCAA college football game, Friday, Nov. 9, 2018, in Boise, Idaho. Boise State won 24-17.

BOISE, Idaho — Few tight ends across the country have demonstrated the consistency that Boise State senior John Bates has over the last three years.

Bates was one of 36 tight ends named to the John Mackey Award Watch List on Friday, however, he is one of only five players that have made that list in each of the last three seasons.

Bates is accompanied in that group by Ohio State senior Luke Farrell, Nebraska senior Jack Stoll, Alabama senior Carl Tucker and Ole Miss senior Kenny Yeboah.

Of those players, you will notice that Bates is the lone member that plays for a Group of 5 program.

Bates is coming off a junior campaign where he set career-highs in catches (23) and receiving yards (273). He started 13 of 14 total games and earned All-Mountain West Honorable Mention honors in 2019.

Reception totals are not the only area where Bates contributes though, according to his position coach Kent Riddle.

"If you go back and watch our games, he's a dominating blocker on the line of scrimmage," Riddle explained. "He has really good fundamentals and does a great job with his hands."

"When you learn to play tight - especially in this offense - you have to be able to run block," Bates said. "That's been a super important thing for me."

The Mackey Award aims to honor the top collegiate tight end in the country each year.

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