‘Tenacious, and violent, and angry’: 2023 commit Joshua Bates on what he’s bringing to the Sooners

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When Lincoln Riley left the Oklahoma Sooners for the USC Trojans on that Sunday after the Bedlam loss, nearly every player committed to Oklahoma for 2023 withdrew their commitments as well. The one holdover, 2023 three-star center from Durango, Colorado, Joshua Bates.

At the time, Bates shared that he was 100% committed to the Sooners.

“Just the bottom line is Oklahoma is going to be Oklahoma… There’s only one Oklahoma, and it’s not going to change. And the biggest thing is, I knew whoever they were going to hire, you know, Oklahoma is still going to be great. And so that’s something I always kept in my mind. And my parents helped me, you know, massive amounts, and we really just emphasized that for sure,” Bates shared with Locked On Sooners. “If they hire Brent Venables or John Madden came back to life, right? You know, it would still be great. You know, and that’s something I thought of, and that’s really what got me through. The whole offensive staff really staying helped a lot, just the relationships I built before. And I still was able to have after that that helped a whole bunch.”

That’s the refrain we’ve heard echoed from Brent Venables and Bob Stoops since December. But the guy who won’t step foot on campus until January of 2023 has been bought in.

The rising star at center shared that several voices encouraged him to be patient and stay the course. Durango’s current defensive coordinator who coached at UTEP and played at Oklahoma State and his dad who was a second-team All-American at Colorado shared their experiences playing against the Sooners as a reason to stick with Oklahoma.

“You know Josh, Oklahoma’s the right place for you,” Bates relayed the conversation between he and his father. “‘because I played those teams, you know, with (Strength and Conditioning Coach Jerry Schmidt) back in the day,’ and he said, ‘I’d never played another team that was as strong and as tough as them. That’s the way you play. That’s the best spot for you.”

And to hear Joshua Bates tell it, a pairing with Schmitty will be a match made in heaven. Josh Helmer of 94.7 The Ref in Norman asked on Locked On Sooners what type of player Oklahoma was getting in Joshua Bates.

“I’m just gonna say it cause it’s true, you’re gonna get a mean nasty shit talker up front for sure. You’re gonna get a player that’s tenacious, and violent, and angry. I play angry and pissed a lot of people off on the football field, but it’s just something I do. And film speaks for itself. And I can’t wait to do it in front of 90,000 people every Saturday,” Bates described himself. “And I can’t wait. And y’all are getting one good player and try to make the best of my opportunity.”

You can watch the full episode below where Joshua Bates also talks about his relationship with five-star quarterback Jackson Arnold and why he feels it’s his job to help the coaches in recruiting.

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Sooners 2023 QB commit Jackson Arnold earns five-star rating in 247Sports Composite rankings

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