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62 MINUS 40 DAYS TO KICKOFF: Xavier Gates

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In which BracketCat counts down the 22nd day until kickoff with a profile of offensive lineman Xavier Gates.

XavierGates

#62 Xavier Gates
Redshirt Sophomore
6-3 | 316
Harrisburg, Pa.

Bio

Position: Offensive Line

Previous College: None

Projection: Second-String

Status: Preferred Walk-On

Xavier A. Gates (b. June 22, 1993) followed a long, complicated and confusing road to become a preferred walk-on at Kansas State. Since then, he redshirted in 2011, did not see any action in 2012 and changed positions thrice.

Rather than try to recount his journey here in its entirety, I'll point you to this excellently written article that recaps it.

To make a long story short, Gates probably would be on scholarship right now at a Division I university somewhere but for the recruiting ball being dropped in the midst of a coaching change at John Harris High School.

He was coming to K-State anyway for our nationally renowned architecture program, but once we realized he was qualified, a walk-on offer was extended quickly. Thus, we lucked into a player who had slipped through the cracks.

Now that he has two preparatory seasons under his belt, it will be interesting to see if Gates can break into the playing time mix at all in 2013. But that prospect is made more complicated by his yo-yoing between two lines.

Gates switched from defensive tackle to offensive line prior to 2012 and drilled there all fall, but he was switched back to the defensive line last spring. We assumed that was permanent, especially after Bill Snyder praised him.

Lo and behold, the fall roster update has him back to offensive line once again. At this time, I have him penciled in as the backup left guard, replacing Tomasi Mariner, but you could just as easily switch him with Matt Kleinsorge.

Gates prepped at John Harris under head coach George Chaump and helped to lead the team to a 10-3 record and a Mid-Penn League championship. He was named to the 2010 Patriot News All-State team.

He also earned first-team all-conference accolades as a defensive tackle and second-team honors as an offensive tackle. Gates lettered four years in track and field.