Antonio Gates: One of the Greatest Journeys to the NFL

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Antonio Gates: One of the Greatest Journeys to the NFL

Cade McAfee, writer

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Antonio Gates is arguably one of the greatest tight ends of all time and there is a case to be made for why he might be the best of all time. Gates is 38 years old and near the end of his Hall of Fame career. Since coming into the league in 2003, he has set many records for tight ends that will stand for a long time. He has the record for most touchdown receptions by a tight end of all time and is on other top ten record lists.

Antonio Gates was an all-state player in both football and basketball in high school but always loved basketball more. Instead of doing off season workouts for football, Gates was travelling around the country playing in basketball tournaments trying to get exposure for his preferred sport. He ended up going to Michigan State for football and basketball but soon realized he could not do both. He red shirted his freshman year and did not play a down of football. His coach, Nick Saban, told Gates that he would have to focus on one sport to truly be great and Gates picked basketball. Gates went to 3 different colleges in the 3 years and finally graduated from Kent State.

Antonio Gates took Kent State to the elite 8 and became known for his basketball abilities. Unfortunately, Gates was only 6′ 5″ and did not have a future in the NBA because of it. The NFL began to take an interest in Antonio Gates as a tight end prospect and the San Diego Chargers were interested. After not playing in 5 years, he was on an NFL team. Gates worked his way up from a practice squad player, to a third string tight end, to the starting tight end of the team. With Ladainian Tomlinson at running back and all the defense’s attention on him, Antonio Gates was the leading receiver for the Chargers.

At the beginning of the 2018-2019 season, Antonio Gates was no longer the star tight but was once again a big part of the Chargers offense. The starting tight end, Hunter Henry, tore his ACL on the first day of training camp and it was the vets time to shine again. he made big catches foR the Chargers and he and Phillip Rivers still have that strong chemistry. Many assumed Gates would retire after this season but Gates still thinks has what it takes to come back and he will always be a player to keep an eye on when he was on the field.

 

 

 

https://www.pro-football-reference.com/players/G/GateAn00.htm

https://www.stack.com/a/antonio-gates-a-recruiting-story-like-no-other

https://www.jockbio.com/Bios/AGates/AGates_bio.html

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Cade McAfee, Contributor

I am Cade McAfee. I go to Benjamin Franklin High School and strive to follow the Charger Way everyday. I stay fit by playing sports and doing weights,...

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