Cornerback Andre Kates to transfer

Indiana cornerback Andre Kates, the former Junior College Player of the Year, said Thursday that he is transferring from IU.

Kates was highly recruited out of ASA College in Brooklyn, N.Y., but he played in just five games last season, recording just three tackles. He  was suspended for much of the year because of comments he made on Twitter. Coach Kevin Wilson and the new staff allowed him to rejoin the team for spring practice, and he said he got along with them well, but that he didn’t feel right staying.

“It just don’t fit me,” Kates said. “Ever since my suspension, I just haven’t been feeling like that’s home. I love coach Wilson, I love the new coaches that they got now. They’re gonna be a real good team. I’d just rather let them focus and take my talents elsewhere.”

Kates said that he met with the coaches Monday to tell them that he wouldn’t be returning.

“The coaches are helping me out,” Kates said. “Whatever I need, they said they would help me out. They support my decision.”

The IU athletic department did not confirm or deny that Kates will transfer.

This would be Kates’ third transfer, but he can still transfer within the Football Bowl Subdivision. His first two transfers were within junior college football hasn’t taken a redshirt year yet, so he could take that now and play in the FBS or transfer down to the Football Championship Subdivision or Division II. He hasn’t decided which route he will take, he said.

Kates was the Hoosiers’ highest rated recruit last season as a junior college transfer. He was in competition for a starting cornerback job in training camp, but those went to then senior Richard Council and junior Matt Ernest. He suffered an injury in the season opener against Towson and played sparingly before the Northwestern game in late October when he said on his Twitter account that he had been kicked off the team. An IU spokesman said then that he was merely suspended indefinitely, but he did not rejoin the team during the season.

Despite the support from the new staff, Kates said he didn’t think he could overcome that.

“It’s not the same no more,” Kates said. “When I first first got there, I felt like this is the place for me. But everything went down hill for me with the coaching staff. Now everyone thinks its me, that I’m the trouble maker. I’d rather back out of the whole situation. I don’t want to have a bullseye on me. I’d rather take my talents elsewhere.”

Though Kates wasn’t projected to be a starter, he would have provided depth in a defensive backfield that’s had it’s problems over the years. Still, he said he expects the team to succeed under the new staff.

“The 15 practices that we had (in the spring) I learned more about playing cornerback than I learned my whole life,” Kates said. “They’re on a good road. I wished them boys luck. I wished all them boys luck.”

22 comments

  1. I guess after the Spring evaluation period, CW informed Andre that it was going to be a long shot for him to earn a starting CB position.

    Good to see that Andre is leaving on good terms, and will be able to find a program that is more suited to his “talents”. Best of luck Andre…

  2. There’s one real reason I don’t like LeBron James: now kids everywhere are talking about where they’re going to “take their talents.”

    Good lord.

  3. I thought he’d already left. I wish him the best and appreciate the things he said about the new coaches on his way out.

    Wherever you go, get that degree, Andre. You’re not going to make a living playing football, so make sure you take full advantage of the academic opportunity your talent has provided. Best of luck.

  4. Leaving on good terms, good for that. But, he also sounds like a quitter unless Coach Wilson privately told him to go elsewhere, which I doubt.

    Life is a struggle and uncomfortable a lot of times. You put on your big boy pants, deal with it and prove yourself! YOU DON’T QUIT!

  5. Dustin, does a transfer make our bet a push like an injury did, or am I on the hook for a night of beer drinking at Nick’s?

  6. It sounds like it was handled well by the staff. It also sounds like we have a much more competent staff in regard to teaching football.

  7. No John, he wasn’t. The English courses he was enrolled in were to hard and his professors and tutors were pushing him too hard to succeed. So he just decided that he’d rather back out of the whole situation since he felt there was a bullseye on his back.

  8. Ironically enough in my calling him out on his English, I used the wrong use of ‘to.’ My bad!

  9. Actually, Ball State, that’s the correct form of ‘to’. Hopefully, this young man finds the right fit for his talents.

  10. I originally questioned why Lynch would not be starting this guy if he was such a great talent at the corner position, especially since our defense left a lot to be desired. However, with a new (and perhaps more competent) coaching staff also coming to the conclusion that he was not good enough to start I think we can all agree that his “talents” were grossly overhyped.

  11. The label JUCO POY must be painted with a broad brush and very thin pigment. Obviously the current staff came to the same conclusion the previous staff did about this players skills. Maybe he will end up at Marian with Finch and Zachary.

  12. No loss! Can you bvelieve that the automated response was “too short”? But it is “No Loss!”. There is nosthing else to add.

  13. What a difference a year makes. Last year most of us were all elated that Kates decided to sign with IU over some other BCS programs. He was going to be the lockdown corner that we all had been hoping for. Surely he was going to improve the defensive performance overall.

    None of that happened, which leads me to wonder just how good our depth is this year based solely on the players recruited by Lynch who are still on the team. I don’t know if it was simply inept coaching, or Lynch’s staff not being good evaluators of talent, or a littel of both, but we have had more than our share of players who just never panned out. Wilson might be able to get more out of those players he was left than Lynch ever could, but if they have effectively reached their highest level of performance, we are sorely in need of an influx of talent.

    I estimate that approximately 60 players currently on the roster are the former staff’s recruits. That means that the maximum potential of those 60 players has already been achieved, and regrettably that isn’t good enough to compete at a consistently high level this year. If Wilson signs 25 players per class it will take both the 2012 and 2013 before we have the talent Wilson demands to make us copetitive in the conference. That also means it will take a minimum of a year of development before these kids will be as good as those they are lining up against. Not to be a Debbie Downer but 2014 will likely be our first year of seeing substantial improvement in the win column.

  14. Waiting-

    Don’t discount the possibility that good coaching and increased conditioning will lead to Wilson squeezing more out of the current roster than Billy Boy ever could.

    I cross my fingers when I say this, but I don’t think we are going to see any more blowouts to a 3-9 Virginia team, 70 point losses to Wisconsin, or consecutive blown 21 point leads only to be told by the coach that our opponent “was an awful good football team over there.”

  15. Monkey News, I’m not discounting Wilson’s ability to coach these players up or how improved conditioning should make this team better able to complete. What I am sensing from conversations I have had with other IU alums like myself is the belief that through Wilson’s affiliation with Oklahoma alone will transform the players on this team to be equal to or better than those at OSU, UW or Nebraska.

    The fact remains that a majority of the current IU squad were players lightly if at all recruited by some of the other major BCS programs. There was a reason why so many of our current roster had multiple MAC division offers and not OSU, UW, PSU, Iowa or Nebraska offers, they weren’t good enough. That’s not to say that some of these very players will not blossom into future stars, but they will be more the exception rather than the rule.

    Another thing I have noticed from those that I have discussed IU football with is the almost total discounting that we will encounter any growing pains. We all want the success that Iowa, Wisconsin, and some other long suffering programs achieved, but seem to ignore the fact that for programs like those the success and transformation took a minimum of three years.

    I’ve had friends tell me that our situation is different and that we are not in as bad of shape as Iowa and Wisconsin when Fenentz and Alvarez took over those programs. All I can say is, “Ih really?” We haven’t gone 3-21 over the past three seasons because our talent was on par to the rest of the league. And if we as IU fans are going to use the close loss to Iowa as justification for our arguement then we cannot ignore our blowout loss to UW as well.

    The truth is our talent is not on par with OSU, PSU, Iowa, UW, Nebraska, MSU or Michigan. That puts us at best at number 8, a position that could be argues that we might share with NU and Illinois.

    Though I hope that IU does not experience any future lopsided losses now that we have a coach like Wilson, I will not be calling for his head or get down on this team if it does happen this year. Both Iowa and Wisconsin had a few of those kind of games with their first year coaches. What we need to focus on is the long term sustainability of the program and not a short term, microwave, we’re going to contend for a conference title immediately, mentality.

    Coach Wilson is our/my coach and he will achieve success but I believe it will take time, and as long as I see measurable improvement my support and resolve will be unbreakable.

    I’ll get off my soap box. LOL

  16. As for myself, I’ll be happy to just see improvement because, in my opinion, we just kept getting worse under Coach Lynch. Towards the end of his tenure our guys could not perform fundamental football tasks, such as tackling.

    Just show me that we are getting better.

  17. Waiting-

    I respect the talent argument to a certain degree. But I always come back to the fact that we are a Big 10 school that produces some pretty decent NFL players from time to time. Yes, out talent pales in comparison to our big brothers OSU, Iowa, and Wisconsin. But we really aren’t that far (or shouldn’t be) from Northwestern, Illinois, or Purdue. These programs didn’t necessarily have long, grinding rebuilding stretches of 5 years before they surged onto the scene. Do you remember the Northwestern team of the 90s with Darnell Autry that came out of nowhere and played Keyshawn Johnson’s USC team in the Rose Bowl? What about Illinios’ 9-3 Rose Bowl season a few years ago that came on the heels of a 2-11 season?

    These seasons weren’t necessarily the end results of long, “let’s be patient while we build the pyramids” campaigns. These were examples of lower-end Big 10 schools with superb coaching that squeezed the most out of its lesser talent, and then built upon it. We were on the cusp of doing the same thing when Hep died. The next year we had a 7-6 season that with anyone but Lynch could have been 8-5 or 9-4, and even after a bowl we failed to keep that momentum going. It was right there under our fingertips though.

    My final point is simply to emphasize that you shouldn’t resign yourself to a “this is going to take years” type of mentality. This is the attitude that has plagued IU football for way too long and contributed to the culture of losing. There is a reason why Wilson’s mantra is “Win Now” – he clearly sees what has gone on here in the past.

  18. While we just don’t know what Coach Wilson will do there is a school of thought, which I subscribe to, that, in football, a really good coach and staff can turn things around immediately. Naturally, there has to be some talent. But I believe if Nick Saban or Urban Meyer took the reins of almost any major university, given a full off season to prepare, they would win the first year.

  19. Let me clarify the point of my last post. It’s not that I don’t expect IU to be competitive or have a chance of being bowl eligible this year. The point I was trying to make is that some IU fans are applying Wilson’s “Win Now” mantra as saying we are definitively going to play in a bowl at the end of this year. We’ll be fortunate if we do because we have too many holes and not enough caulk to fill all of them. That’s what is going to take some time to address.

    Can we “Win Now?” Sure, and I wouldn’t expect a new coach anywhere to not strive for a winning first season. But if it doesn’t happen that doesn’t imply that Wilson has somehow failed. We’re playing seven conference teams that went to a bowl last year, indicating to me that they are slightly ahead of the curve with regard to the rebuilding Wilson and his staff are having to do.

    Thanks for using Illinois 2007 season as an example of worst to first as it only strengthens my point that Wilson will need time to turn this thing around.

    Remember that by 2007 Ron Zook was already into his third year at UI, and had compiled three very successful recruiting classes. The year prior, Zook started Juice Williams who was an inexperienced freshman QB. Williliams inexperience resulted in him making enough mistakes to warrant their 2-9 record. A year later he had a full season of experinece under his belt as well as having become familiar with the offense. Combine that with having a roster filled with plenty of future NFL talent (Leman, Vontae & Will Davis, Brent, Benn, Mendenhall, Hoomanawanui) it helped to propel them to a very successful season.

    2011 IU will be playing a yet to be named inexperienced QB in the persons of Kiel, Wright-Baker, and Robinson. Add in the fact that Kiel and Wright-Baker will only have had roughly 40 practices running the new offense by the time we play BSU, that will make things more tenuous. If Robinson earns the start that only means he will have had even less time running this offense and be even more prone to making mistakes. This fact alone is what makes me temper my expectations of us having a winning season.

    It’s my understanding of reality and not my attitude that tells me a winning season will be difficult to achieve in 2011.

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