Bengals running back Bernard Scott attended Abilene Christian University's Pro Day in late March to support his younger cousin, wide receiver Edmund Gates. At the time, Gates was ranked as the 13th best wide receiver prospect coming into the NFL Draft by ESPN's DraftTracker. He has since moved up a spot to 12th. According to Pro Football Talk's 2011 draft visits and workout tracker, the Bengals will hold a private workout with Gates this Thursday.
Scott's cousin ran a 4.37 40-yard sprint during the NFL Combine, tops among wide receivers and fourth overall. ESPN's DraftTracker writes about his big-play ability.
Is at his best with the ball in his hands in space. Can take a quick-hitter the distance. Shows very good initial burst, can accelerate out of his breaks and he displays a big-time second-gear. Needs more work as a vertical route runner and with tracking the ball, but he has the burst and top-end speed to stretch the field.
But Gates' story is more than just about football.
Gates, ranked in the top-five in broad and vertical jumps during the NFL Combine, has some baggage, though we wouldn't go so far as to call it character flags. When he was six years old living in a rough neighborhood, his father began an 18-year prison term for murder. After he walked on to the Tyler Junior College basketball team, he was kicked off the team a year later for unknown reasons.
Some time later, Abilene Christian University football coaches visited with Gates' family to talk with his cousin Bernard Scott where one of the coaches, Desmond Gant, noticed Gates.
"Coach Gant was like, 'You look like you could be a good receiver,' Gates said. "'Where do you go to school? Where do you play?' I was like, 'Man, I play basketball.' He said, 'Where do you play?' I told him, "I don’t play anywhere right now. I’m trying to find somewhere to go, because I got kicked off the Tyler Junior College team for multiple reasons.'"
That year Gates enrolled with Scott and couldn't get on with the ASU basketball team, instead working out with Scott and Johnny Knox, a friend of Gates from junior college.
"I worked out with them, just because we were real close," Gates said. "They were like, 'You should play football, bro. You're fast. You've got good hands.' I would run routes with them. I was like, 'OK, I’ll give it a try.'"
In 2010, Gates recorded 66 receptions for 1,182 yards receiving and 13 touchdowns. I'd say it was a good move. Read Reporter News' Joey D. Richard's article for a really good background look on Gates.
According to Aaron Wilson, Gates has a planned visit with the Denver Broncos on Wednesday and has already visited with the Baltimore Ravens, the New York Jets, the Dallas Cowboys, the Minnesota Vikings and previously worked out with the Cleveland Browns.