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Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Young Bates drives opponents psycho

I wrote a story for today's newspaper about freshman safety Daren Bates and his immediate impact this fall. Here's how it starts:

AUBURN, Ala. — The recruiting side of college football is a fickle business.

Players that don’t generate much hype heading into their senior season often fly under the radar, caught in a numbers crush as teams fill up their scholarship allotments and have less time to evaluate talent during the hectic fall.

Sometime during the process last year, safety Daren Bates fell through the cracks.

Auburn sure is glad he did.

Bates, a late signee last January, has exceeded everybody’s wildest expectations through five games. Since seizing one of the Tigers’ starting safety jobs in place of an injured Mike McNeil, he has displayed an inherent aggressive streak prized at his position while exuding a calm befitting an upperclassman.

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