Michigan State football recruiting: Four-star WR Antonio Gates Jr., son of NFL legend, commits to Spartans


The son of a football legend is heading to Michigan State. Four-star wide receiver Antonio Gates Jr., whose father is legendary NFL tight end Antonio Gates, announced on Twitter that he will play college football for coach Mel Tucker and the Spartans. The younger Gates chose Michigan State over Florida, Penn State, Kentucky and Tennessee.

“They utilize their receivers right, they had one of the top freshman receivers in the country last year and they’re just a good program overall,” Gates Jr. said in April according to 247Sports.

Gates is a 6-foot-1, 185-pounder from Fordson High School in Dearborn, Michigan. He is the No. 293 overall prospect and 45th-ranked receiver in the Class of 2022. Allen Trieu, national recruiting analyst for 247Sports, compared him to NFL receiver and former Ole Miss star Laquon Treadwell. Trieu provided this scouting report on the newest member of the Michigan State recruiting class.

“Bigger body for a wide receiver,” Trieu wrote. “Thick and physically strong. Uses size and physicality to out-body defenders for 50-50 balls. Shows timing and ability to high-point the ball. Strong, natural hands and ability to catch the ball away from his body. Good route runner with fluid change of direction and understanding of how to create separation. Still can get straight line faster. Gets downfield, but will not blow by defensive backs and does not currently make tons of plays after the catch. Could also project to defense with his size and skill set, but mainly projects as a true outside receiver and one that can play at a high level in college and then on Sundays if he keeps polishing his game.”

Gates is the 16th player and first four-star prospect to commit to the Spartans during the current recruiting cycle. That class is currently ranked No. 32 overall and No. 7 in the Big Ten in the 247Sports composite team rankings. 

The elder Gates, who played for the Chargers from 2003-18, was named to eight Pro Bowls and is considered one of the top tight ends in NFL history.