Lincoln-Way West receiver DeAndre Coates works to take game to next level

Wideout has a multitude of NCAA Division-I offers entering senior season

DeAndre Coates, Lincoln-Way West

It’s always nice to have a NCAA Division-I caliber wide receiver on your offense.

Lincoln-Way West has been thrilled to have Austin Roswell on its roster the past three years. He’ll be there again this fall before heading to college.

Having two D-I caliber receivers? Now that’s an abundance of riches.

That’s what the Warriors have had the past three seasons and will again have this fall. In addition to Roswell, senior DeAndre Coates is back at wideout for Lincoln-Way West. He likely will be heading to a D-I program as well after this season. But first, he and Roswell hope to lead the Warriors to new heights.

A native of Colorado, Coates moved to Illinois when he was 11. He’s been a standout, hauling in 20 catches for 200 yards last season. At 6-foot-1, 188 pounds, Coates has been listed as a two-star recruit. He’s also holds a 3.3 GPA in the classroom and has been a fixture for the basketball team, although he plans to graduate early this year, meaning his hardwood days are over.

He’s doing everything he can to make this last year of high school football count.

“The goal is to make myself better. I want to help the team strive for greatness. Hopefully we can get a state championship this year.”

—  DeAndre Coates, Lincoln-Way West wide receiver

“Everything has gone up in intensity for me [this offseason],” Coates said. “My testing, everything I do, speed, physicality, strength, route running everything has changed for me. I became more of a dominant force for our offense in plays that were meant for me. I’m helping the younger kids become great as well and taking on a bigger role as well.”

Currently, Coates holds D-I offers from Marshall, Butler and Fordham, while also holding offers from several lower division schools. He’s looking forward to the opportunity to prove himself at the next level.

“It would mean the world to me,” Coates said. “I’d be one step closer to the NFL and making my dreams come true. Being able to go against better opponents and better competition while fighting for a job would be amazing. Proving to schools and coaches that haven’t offered me yet that I deserve it would be a big deal.”

Playing next to Roswell should help. The speedster has dealt with a variety of injuries in football, but he has had a ton of success in track. Roswell holds D-I offers as well, including Illinois State, Northern Iowa and Lehigh. Coates is excited for everyone to see them play.

DeAndre Coates, Lincoln-Way West

“Me and him [Roswell] were both receivers back in freshman year,” Coates said. “We’ve been dominant since freshmen year, and we’re going to be an insane duo. We’re probably going to be more aggressive in the passing game. His speed and ability to reel in those balls with my physicality are going to bring the offense toward the playoffs and even deeper.”

Coates also is looking forward to seeing how an offseason working with quarterback Chase Hetfliesh helps the offense. Hetfliesh stepped up big last year after starter Cole Crafton went down with a torn ACL. Coates praised the growth his quarterback has shown since last year.

“He’s someone that’s stepped up to become one of those leaders that we’re looking at to lead us to even more opportunities,” Coates said. “We’re going to make even better plays this year with him there.”

Coates considers himself a sleeper that “can compete with the four stars and the five stars.” He believes his size will assist him greatly while he’s continuing to work on getting stronger and faster. With that, he’s hopeful even more offers will roll in.

For now he’s focused on helping the Warriors reach new heights. Linebacker Josh Veldman, a Northwestern commit, will help the defense overcome some key losses. After going 9-3 and reaching the Class 7A state quarterfinals last year, Coates believes the Warriors are poised to be even better.

“The goal is to make myself better,” Coates said. “I want to help the team strive for greatness. Hopefully, we can get a state championship this year.”