Snider honors Bates with football number retirement

July 24, 2019



FORT WAYNE, Ind. - Snider High School honored Cincinnati Bengals safety Jessie Bates III on Wednesday by retiring the No. 5 football jersey he wore for the Panthers.

Bates stood next to head coach Kurt Tippmann as a showcase of jerseys, photos and trading cards highlighted Bates' football career.

"It's about leaving a legacy," Bates says. "This isn't just for me. This is for my kids, when they walk in this hallway."

Bates' football career bloomed at Snider, where he earned All-State and All-Summit Athletic Conference honors, and was named team MVP for defense and special teams. As a senior, he tied Rod Woodson's single-season interception mark with 9. Now, his number (5) is displayed alongside Woodson's 26 and Vaughn Dunbar's 42 as the only three retired by Snider.

"I always said that one day I would have my own showcase," Bates says. "I haven't done anything like Rod Woodson or Vaughn Dunbar, yet. But, that's what my goal is."


"Our retiring of his jersey is meant to be a constant celebration of all that he did when he was here," Snider football coach Kurt Tippmann says. "He's being celebrated for his work on the field. But what's most impressive about this young man is whom he is as a person."

After high school, Bates played at Wake Forest University. In two seasons, he finished with 179 tackles, 6 interceptions and 195 interception return yards (3rd in school history). He was a consensus Freshman All-America pick, too.

After his redshirt sophomore year, Bates declared for the NFL Draft, and was picked up by the Cincnnati Bengals in the 2nd round (54th overall). As a rookie, he tallied 111 tackles and 3 interceptions. 

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