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Monday, April 1, 2013
Alabama offers two Nevada standouts

By Erik McKinney

Whenever Alabama comes west to offer a prospect before the spring evaluation period, it makes a statement. Monday, the Crimson Tide made two statements in the Silver State, as Nick Saban's program extended offers to two of Nevada's top juniors.

It's hardly surprising that one of the players to collect an offer was running back Nathan Starks (Las Vegas/Bishop Gorman), a physically imposing, 5-foot-11, 200-pound ESPN Watch List tailback with offers from Nebraska, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Texas, UCLA and Washington, among others.

Starks called the Alabama offer "very exciting."

But what might turn some heads is that offensive tackle Nick Gates, a teammate of Starks at Bishop Gorman, also received an offer from Alabama. Thus far, Gates' recruitment has gone under the radar compared to Starks, though the 6-foot-4, 272-pound tackle does hold offers from Arizona, Nevada, Washington and Washington State. With the offer from the Crimson Tide, Gates could find himself on a few more recruiting boards.

"If you watch his film from last year, you knew he was going to be a great player," Bishop Gorman head coach Tony Sanchez said of Gates. "Quite a few people are starting to call about him."

Sanchez said Baylor, Duke and Texas A&M are a few of the schools that have shown interest in Gates, but the head coach believes interest will pick up even more once the spring evaluation period begins.

"When they can see him physically and once they see how big he is, absolutely," Sanchez said.

It's still early in the process for both players. Gates is a member of the Bishop Gorman baseball team and is concentrating on that sport at the moment. Starks has listed schools such as Notre Dame, Oklahoma and USC as some of his favorites, but Sanchez said the favorites likely won't be finalized until his tailback can get out on some visits and see the schools.

"He's doing a good job of being open-minded about it all," Sanchez said.