After last season the Bearcats staff surely thought that they were set at Tight End. Yes Blake Annen was moving on, but D.J. Dowdy has been a front line player for a couple of years, Travis Johnson showed great potential before getting himself hurt and Tyler Cogswell was waiting in the wings after a red shirt season. Flash forward to spring practice and Johnson had left the team, Dowdy hadn't risen above adequate in his performance, Chad West has bounced back and forth between TE, DE, and OT and it looks increasingly likely that Cogswell will be the opening day starter.
Depth at the position is needed, not just this year, but projecting forward. At this point in time there are four tight ends on the roster, and Shai Alonzo is more receiver than tight end. If the end goal of this offense for Eddie Gran is to be able to get big with their personnel and win on the ground this roster is miles a way. Its very hard to get big when you have two tight ends and no fullbacks.
Enter Doug Bates who plays a hybrid H-Back, TE role for the Moller Crusaders and is perfectly suited to play the role that was Blake Annen's purview last year. The lead arc blocker on the Bearcats pistol sets and flats outlet. This isn't a case where the Bearcats staff is projecting a kid to a role. Bates has a role, one that he has been doing for a couple of years with Moeller.
Welcome to Bearcat Nation Doug.