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Tuesday, July 16, 2013
Q&A: OL Bates talks upcoming PSU visit

By Josh Moyer

Class of 2015 OT Ryan Bates (Warminster, Pa./Archbishop Wood) will visit PSU for the third time this summer on July 27. And he might make another trip to Happy Valley in September.

NittanyNation recently caught up with the coveted lineman to talk about his upcoming visit, what he's hoping to get out of the newest trip and what's sticking out about the Nittany Lions.

NittanyNation: This will be your third trip to Penn State just this summer. Why did you decide to visit again so soon?

Ryan Bates: Yeah, third time. The first time I was at the Blue-White Game, the second time was the camp. And the camp was really what did it. I didn't mind Penn State in the beginning, but when I went up there for that camp and I got to know Coach Mac [McWhorter] and Coach [John] Butler better -- and Coach [Bill] O'Brien -- I just really liked all the coaches. And the campus was beautiful up there.

I'm going up the 27th of July, and they're going to have a general academic adviser and tour the campus and talk to the coaches more.

NN: So that camp is really what grabbed your attention, what increased your interest in PSU. Is that fair to say?

RB: It's fair to say. It changed my view on things, because Coach Mac got to coach me, and I got to see what it was like to be coached by him. Right now, though, I got to keep all my windows open. This is only the beginning. I'm going to get more scholarships, and I want to keep an open mind.

NN: You're already up to six offers. But I remember, before that PSU camp, you said you were especially big on South Carolina -- and you just visited there. How did that go?

RB: The trip went great. Coach [G.A.] Mangus is a great guy and a good person to talk to. Everything there was so beautiful and so fantastic and nice. I was a little disappointed because Coach [Steve] Spurrier and Coach [Shawn] Elliott weren't there, because they were on vacation that week -- and, after that visit, Coach Mangus was going to Mexico. So it was still great; I had a good visit.

It happened to be a perfect day, too. It was probably 80, 85 degrees with a nice breeze and not a cloud in the sky. It was beautiful down there with the palm trees. It was a like a little country resort or something.

NN: You also recently visited Virginia. Are there any other places you plan on seeing, or is PSU kind of the last trip before your junior season starts up?

RB: Yeah, Penn State's probably going to be my last hurrah. It'll probably be my last visit this summer. I'm thinking of taking a visit to Rutgers, but it's all about time management. I don't know if I'll have time. I have to worry about my season now and my coaches and everything.

NN: Have you thought about what college games you're going to attend in the fall?

RB: If we have time, we might head up to a game for Penn State, since it's so close and everything. Well, it's not that close -- but closer than any other schools. I think we might go to the Eastern Michigan game [at Penn State]. We might head up to a game up there and maybe, maybe, South Carolina. It's all about time management, like I said, and I'm just not sure I'll have time.

NN: So you might be seeing PSU in April, June, July and September. That's a lot of visits in a short period of time so, tell me, what are you hoping to get out of your next visit in two weeks?

RB: The visit I'm taking the 27th, I just want to get more familiar with the campus and try to see the living accommodations and see an academic adviser and just get more of a feel for the place.

NN: What two things are most important to you in a college as in, if they don't have these two things, you're not going there?

RB: They have to have the coaches. I have to have a good relationship with the coaches. They have to be down-to-earth people, great people and someone I can go to if I need help in any way. The coaches, definitely. And probably my major -- because I'm going to college for academics and football.

I don't know what I'm going to major in yet, but I know what I want to do. I want to be a college coach. I want to be a graduate assistant coach and work my way up. That's what I'd love to do. I want to stay in sports because sports have always been my life since I could walk.

NN: Your teammate at Archbishop Wood, Jake Cooper, is big on Penn State. So how often do you two talk about the school, or is that something you try to avoid?

RB: We talk about it sometimes. He asked me about my visits. Like [Monday] at football, he was asking me about my visits, and I was telling how beautiful the campus was. And he asked me if it was more beautiful than Penn State, and I was like, 'They were about the same.' They're all beautiful campuses. I know he's a huge fan of Penn State, so we do talk about it sometimes.