Chargers News: Antonio Gates' son commits to big D1 program
By Jason Reed
Antonio Gates is one of the greatest players in LA Chargers history. He is more than just an icon when it comes to the Chargers, though. He is undoubtedly going to be enshrined in Canton when he qualifies for the Pro Football Hall of Fame as he is one of the greatest tight ends of all time.
Gates is currently third all time in receiving yards among tight ends — only trailing Tony Gonzalez and Jason Witten — and is first all time in receiving touchdowns. He did all this as an undrafted free agent who was more known for college basketball at Kent State. He was a true pioneer to the tight end position.
Gates is still making an impact in the football world via his son, Antonio Gates Jr. Back in May, we covered how Gates Jr. is one of the best high school wide receivers in the country. Now, we can officially say that Gates Jr. has committed to a big Division 1 football program — Michigan State.
This actually comes full circle for the Gates family. Senior originally committed to Michigan State under the impression that he would be allowed to play both basketball and football. When then-head coach Nick Saban told him it was football or nothing, Gates ditched the Spartans.
Gates Sr. spent a year at Eastern Michigan University, some time at the College of the Sequoias and then finally wound up at Kent State. He never played college football.
The LA Chargers should definitely keep a close eye on Antonio Gates Jr. at Michigan State.
While it does help that there is some familiarity between the LA Chargers and the Gates family, that is not the only reason why the Chargers should be keeping a close eye on Antonio Gates Jr. Gates Jr. is a legitimate receiving prospect and while he is a long ways away from the league, he could one day catch passes from Justin Herbert.
Gates Jr. projects to be a big-bodied outside receiver that fights for 50-50 balls. According to 247 Sports, Gates is currently six-foot-one and weighs 185 pounds. He will obviously continue to grow and bulk up in college and could even move to tight end if he undergoes a massive growth spurt.
RELATED: Ranking the AFC West tight end rooms
Also according to 247 Sports, Gates Jr. enters his senior season as the no. 8 player in the state of Michigan and the no. 45 senior wide receiver in all of the United States. He is a legitimate college prospect.
Both Michigan State and Charger fans should keep a close eye on how he performs in his senior year. If his junior year highlight reel means anything then chances are he will be great in his senior year.
And before you know it, we could have Justin Herbert and Antonio Gates Jr. be the new version of Philip Rivers and Antonio Gates Sr.