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LB Houston Bates Earning Playing Time

Houston Bates (Holly Smith)

Many high school football players must transition to positions more suited for them in college. For some, it can take several years to acclimate. But Houston Bates is making a rapid adjustment to linebacker and is presently running second team in spring ball for the Illini.

Houston Bates was a defensive end in high school. Upon arriving at Illinois, it was obvious his body build and skills were more suited to linebacker. It took awhile for him to make the adjustment from end. "That's where I was most comfortable. I liked getting after the quarterback in high school. But linebacker is definitely more of a fit. They're known as the head-bangers on the team. "I...

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