Antonio Gates is one of the most dominant tight ends to ever play football, but now his son, Antonio Gates Jr. is making a name for himself in the college ranks with the Michigan State Spartans.
Early in the fourth quarter of Michigan State's game against Richmond, the redshirt freshman caught his first collegiate pass on a 45-yard touchdown from Michigan State quarterback Noah Kim. Gates Jr. got all of his career firsts out of the way by making his first career catch a touchdown reception.
ANTONIO GATES JR FOR 6. ?
— Big Ten Football (@B1Gfootball) September 9, 2023
Unlike his dad, the 6-foot-2 Gates Jr. plays wide receiver, but is proving to be a mismatch for secondaries in his own way early in his college career.
A 4-star recruit in the 2022 recruiting class, Gates Jr. was the highest-rated offensive player in the Spartans' recruiting haul. His other offers included the likes of Florida, Ole Miss, Penn State and Tennessee, but Gates Jr. decided to stay in the state of Michigan and rep the Spartans. Surprisingly enough, Gates Jr. did not receive an offer from his father's alma mater of Kent State.
The elder Gates was originally slated to attend Michigan State himself, playing both basketball and football. Once he discovered that the football team only wanted him to play football, Gates transferred to Eastern Michigan before eventually ending up at Kent State. Gates Jr. is only playing football for the Spartans.
After redshirting last year in a loaded Michigan State wide receiver room, Gates Jr. will have more opportunities for playing time with Jayden Reed being drafted by the Green Bay Packers and Keon Coleman transferring to Florida State.
The younger Gates has a long way to go before he can match his father's Hall of Fame caliber NFL career, but this was a great start for the redshirt freshman. The Michigan State Spartans improved to 2-0 on the young season with the win over Richmond on Saturday.
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