Senior LEO Houston Bates will transfer to a school in Louisiana. Reportedly, he is hoping to move closer to home so his friends and family can more easily watch him play. Bates will be eligible immediately at whichever school he chooses.
This is pretty unfortunate for the Illini. The depth of the defensive line was sub-par before Bates left, and he leaves a sizable hole at LEO. Illinois was counting on Bates to provide a decent pass rush and stuffing ability to the line; last year he finished second on the team with 12 tackles for loss.
Hopefully, one of the newly-acquired JUCO defensive linemen or somebody already on the roster will be able to step into his spot. This will hurt next year, but it is by no means a death sentence for the defense. Good luck to Houston wherever he ends up.
Illinois LB Houston Bates will skip his final season and transfer to a school closer to his home in La. He will be eligible immediately.— Tom Dienhart (@BTNTomDienhart) February 28, 2014
Hearing there's a strong chance #Illinois DE transfer Houston Bates will end up at Louisiana Tech.— Jeremy Fowler (@JFowlerCBS) February 28, 2014