Antonio Gates: Wikis

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Antonio Gates

Gates in June 2008
No. 85     San Diego Chargers
Tight end
Personal information
Date of birth: June 18, 1980 (1980-06-18) (age 29)
Place of birth: Detroit, Michigan
Height: 6 ft 4 in (1.93 m) Weight: 240 lb (109 kg)
Career information
College: Kent State
Undrafted in 2003
Debuted in 2003 for the San Diego Chargers
Career history
 As player:
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics as of Week 17, 2009
Receptions     479
Receiving Yards     6,223
Receiving TDs     59
Stats at NFL.com

Antonio D. Gates (born June 18, 1980 in Detroit, Michigan) is an American football tight end for the San Diego Chargers of the National Football League. He was signed as an undrafted free agent in 2003 after giving up playing basketball after college. He attended college at Kent State University.

Contents

College career

Before his rookie season of 2003, Gates had not played organized football since his senior year at Central High School in Detroit. While there, Gates led Detroit Central High School to a Class A state championship in basketball as a senior,[1][2] and was a first-team all-state selection in football and basketball.

After high school, Gates was recruited by Michigan State to play linebacker. Gates wanted to play both football and basketball, but then coach Nick Saban wanted him to play only football. Basketball was his favorite sport, so after his first semester he transferred to Eastern Michigan University to play basketball. He played there for part of a season, subsequently ended up playing at two junior colleges, one of them being the College of the Sequoias, and then finally landed at Kent State University in northeast Ohio. Coming out of junior college, Gates originally committed to Fresno State, but he immediately flipped to Kent State when his former high school coach, Oronde Taliaferro, was hired as an assistant. Gates spent two seasons as the Golden Flashes starting power forward and led the team to a MAC championship and the Elite Eight in 2002 and to the MAC championship game the following season. Gates was Second Team All-MAC as a junior and a First Team All-MAC and an Honorable Mention All-American selection as a senior.

College basketball stats

Season Team GP MPG PPG FG% 3FG% FT% APG RPG BPG SPG
1999-2000 Eastern Michigan 18 24.2 10.2 51.8 16.7 58.2 1.3 7.4 0.7 1.0
2001-2002 Kent State 36 32.3 16.0 51.8 25.0 70.6 2.7 8.1 0.4 1.2
2002-2003 Kent State 31 33.2 20.6 47.8 34.9 70.9 4.1 7.7 0.2 1.5
Career EMU/KSU 85 30.9 16.5 50.0 30.1 68.9 2.9 7.8 0.4 1.2

NFL career

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San Diego Chargers

After being told by scouts that he was too much of a “tweener” (6′4″) to make the NBA, Gates arranged a workout in front of NFL scouts. As many as 19 teams were believed to have contacted Gates about a try out. Gates chose to work out first for the San Diego Chargers. Recognizing his enormous potential, the Chargers immediately signed him to a contract as an undrafted free agent.

After finishing a solid 2003 rookie season in which he caught 24 passes for 389 yards and two scores, he was picked by many experts to have a breakout season in 2004. That year, only his second season in the NFL, Gates became quarterback Drew Brees' favorite target, finishing the season with 81 receptions for 964 yards and 13 touchdowns. On December 19, Gates tied the NFL season record for touchdowns by a tight end (13) in a 21–0 win over the Cleveland Browns, and he went on to break that record in an overtime loss to the Indianapolis Colts on December 26. Gates was selected to the 2005 Pro Bowl and caught a TD pass from Colts' quarterback Peyton Manning to help the AFC to a 38–27 victory. Additionally, Gates was on the receiving end of a 33 yard pass from teammate Drew Brees in a flea-flicker play selected by fans online.

On August 23, 2005, after holding out for a contract extension, Gates inked a six-year deal worth up to $24 million with the San Diego Chargers. Because of his holdout, Gates was suspended one game the home opener against the Dallas Cowboys. Gates went on to have another stellar season, catching 89 passes for 1,101 yards and 10 touchdowns, but the Chargers missed the playoffs by a slim margin.

With the departure of Drew Brees during the offseason, it was assumed that Gates would suffer a decline in production in 2006 with first-year starter Philip Rivers at the helm. Gates had a relatively quiet start to the season, but he finished the year strongly and ended up with 924 receiving yards and nine touchdowns. He caught two touchdown passes on December 10 against Denver to help the Chargers clinch their division.

2008

Gates has said he is leaning toward having surgery to repair a dislocated left big toe that slowed his performance during the playoffs. Gates said he will decide whether to have surgery or not. "There is higher chance I'm going to have surgery." said Gates. Gates also pulled out of his 5th Pro Bowl selection because of his injuries alongside his teammate LaDainian Tomlinson. Gates finished the season with 60 receptions for 704 yards and 8 touchdowns.

On February 23, 2008, Gates said he would have foot surgery to fix the injury that has hurt him in the final part of the season. He would face a 4-6 month recovery time. He seemed questionable for Week 1 and even sounded worried about his status for Opening day, however he ended up playing every game despite complaints that his toe was bothering him some during the first half of the season.

2009

Gates 2009 NFL regular season, catching 79 balls for 1157 yards and 8 touchdowns. His 1157 receiving yards is his career high.

Facts and records

Regular season stats

Receiving
Year Team G Rec Yards Y/R TD
2003 San Diego 11 24 389 16.2 2
2004 San Diego 15 81 964 11.9 13
2005 San Diego 15 89 1101 12.4 10
2006 San Diego 16 71 924 13.0 9
2007 San Diego 16 75 984 13.1 9
2008 San Diego 16 60 704 11.7 8
2009 San Diego 16 79 1157 14.7 8
Career San Diego 89 479 6,223 13.3 59

References

External links

Preceded by
Mike Ditka [1961], (12)
Record for NFL Tight End Receiving Touchdowns in a Single Season
[2004], (13)
Succeeded by
Current Record Holder

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