Local product Bradley Bates continues to rack up accolades after a successful 2016 season of breaking records. The College Football American Yearbook named Bates as the best place kicker in the NAIA.
Bates, entering his senior camp next week, prepped at Campbellsville High School, which is within eyesight from Citizens Bank Field and Finley Stadium. During the summer entering his junior season, Bates was a mainstay on campus working on his craft and it paid off…. And so did his patience. The first two seasons of his career, Bates was playing behind All-Conference kicker Will Ward but when 2016 came around, Bates proved to be the best in the NAIA.
Bates nailed 14 field goals last season and hit 43 of 45 PATs. He also accumulated 85 points through CU’s 10 games last season. The 85 points eclipsed NAIA All-American kicker and CU Hall of Fame inductee (2016) Donnie Johnson’s single-season mark. The 14 field goals also tied Johnson’s mark set in 2003. In addition, Bates made 43 PATs – the second-most in a single-season.
Overall, Bates’ 14 field goals ranked No. 2 in the NAIA, as did his 1.4 field goals per game and 8.5 points per game. Bates also ranked N0. 7 with the 85 points and No. 8 by hitting 82.4 percent of his field goals (14-of-17).
With his success on the field, Bates was named the program’s fourth NAIA First-Team All-American.
In addition to his on the field success, Bates was named a 2017 Kentucky Pro Football Hall of Fame All-Commonwealth Team.
The Tigers report to camp on August 4-5 and preseason practice starts on Monday, Aug. 7. CU opens the season at home on Thursday, Aug. 24 vs. University of Pikeville. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. ET.
Sports Information Director