For a baseball player, Bishop Gorman’s Nick Gates turned out to be quite an offensive lineman.
Gates arrived at Gorman in 2010 as a first baseman and pitcher with dreams of earning a college baseball scholarship. He hadn’t played a down of organized football.
But after being spotted by the Gaels’ coaching staff during a summer school class prior to his freshman year, Gates has grown into a 6-foot-5-inch, 270-pound “brawler” and one of the top senior offensive line prospects in the West.
“He’s a perfect example of why parents and kids should not pigeonhole themselves into one sport,” Gaels football coach Tony Sanchez said. “Too many people specialize and you never know what opportunities you’re missing out on.”
Gates has nearly 20 scholarship offers, according to Rivals.com, and said he favors Arizona, Nebraska, Oregon and Texas A&M. Gates is scheduled to visit Lincoln, Neb., this week after making an official visit to Texas A&M last weekend. He will visit Arizona and Oregon in December and said he is also open to making a fifth visit.
Gates drew plenty of attention in the spring when he was offered by Alabama but hasn’t heard from the Crimson Tide’s coaches recently. Gates fits the mold of the sleek, athletic linemen that spread-offense teams are recruiting and showed his talent against Gorman’s national schedule, including top-ranked Booker T. Washington (Fla.).
“It felt good to actually get out there and play some good competition,” Gates said. “I think coaches wanted to see how I did versus these good, talented guys.”
Gates hit .372 with six home runs and 34 RBIs and went 3-1 with a 3.64 ERA in the spring as the Gaels reached the Division I state title game. Gates said Arizona is the only one of his top four schools recruiting him to play both sports, but Sanchez expects his future to be on the football field.
“He’s a brawler,” Sanchez said. “There’s not a kid in town that finishes people the way Nick Gates does.”
■ REBELS OFFER BROWN JR. — Centennial freshman point guard Troy Brown Jr. received a verbal scholarship offer from UNLV last week, according to Bulldogs boys basketball coach Todd Allen.
The 6-5 Brown is widely regarded as one of the nation’s top prospects in the class of 2017.
He stood out during the recent Phase1 Hoops Top 40 camp at Tarkanian Basketball Academy, which included UNLV class of 2015 targets Chase Jeter (Bishop Gorman) and Ray Smith (Las Vegas High), along with several of the West’s top players.
Brown’s first game for Centennial is Dec. 3 at home against Desert Hills (Utah).
■ MEMORABLE FINISH — Coronado senior Olivia Greenwald struggled during the final round of the Division I state girls golf tournament last week, shooting 85 at Bear’s Best after an opening-round 6-over-par 78. But she made the final hole of her high school career one to remember.
Greenwald put her approach shot on the difficult 413-yard, par-4 18th hole 2 feet from the pin, drawing a roar from the crowd gathered near the green. Greenwald heard the cheers and playfully thrust both arms into the air before walking up the fairway and tapping in for birdie.
“It was the one club I wasn’t confident with — my 5-iron — and it proved me wrong,” Greenwald said. “That hole always gets me, so to come back and birdie it made it 10 times better.”
Greenwald finished tied for 10th place with Bishop Gorman’s Katie DeJesus.
■ RECENT COMMITMENTS — Basic outfielder/pitcher Mikey York to Saint Mary’s (Calif.), and infielder Skyler Mahoney of Basic to Salt Lake Community College. … Palo Verde senior infielder/pitcher Michael Spada to Holy Cross. … Palo Verde boys golfer Brandon Bauman to UC Santa Barbara. … Arbor View softball player Amber Raab to College of Southern Nevada.