Bates leaving U of I football team

Published 02/28 2014 03:58PM

Updated 03/03 2014 03:39PM

CHAMPAIGN, IL (UI Release) – Illinois LEO Houston Bates has decided to skip his final football season at Illinois and will transfer to a school closer to his home in Louisiana to finish his collegiate playing career. Bates, a native of Covington, La., will graduate in May with his bachelor’s degree in community health, and would be eligible to play immediately at a different school should he choose.

“Houston is a terrific and bright young man, who was a great teammate on our football team,” Head Football Coach Tim Beckman said. “We certainly would have liked to have Houston remain on the team, but he indicated that he wanted to finish closer to home and his family. We wish him nothing but the best as he moves on in his career.”

“I want to thank my teammates and coaches, along everyone who supported me here at the University of Illinois and allowed me to graduate with a degree from such a prestigious institution,” Bates said. "My degree from the UofI allows me to accomplish whatever I want in my life. I wish everyone in the Fighting Illini program nothing but the best. I’m taking this opportunity to finish my playing career closer to home so that my family and friends will be able to see me play." 

Bates ranked eighth on the team in 2013 with 40 tackles, but was second in tackles for loss with 12 (-47 yards) and quarterback sacks with 3.5 (-26 yards). He started all 12 games in 2013 at LEO (Line/End Option). For his career, Bates finished with 81 tackles, 14 tackles for loss and 4.5 quarterback sacks.

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