Will be a part of what should be an incredible defense in 2018 … Injuries shortened what could have been a superb 2017 season … Will battle for playing time at the defensive tackle position …Had a superb 2016 season despite playing in a reserve role … Had his freshman season cut short after two games … Good run stopper with the ability to come off the ball and make plays … Has good speed for his position, and he has an impressive 101-inch reach … Has played 20 games with five starts … Has 39 tackles (20 unassisted), 13.5 tackles for loss and six sacks in his career.
2017 Season: Played in six games with five starts … Made 12 tackles (seven unassisted) with four tackles for loss and three sacks … Had a career game in the Aggies upset win at Charlotte making seven tackles (five unassisted) including three sacks to lead the Aggies to a 35-31 victory … A week earlier he had three solo tackles in the Aggies blowout win over Mars Hill.
2016 Season: Played 12 games without a start … Made 23 tackles (nine unassisted), 8 ½ tackles for loss and three sacks … Also broke up a pass during the season … Made three unassisted tackles in a 31-9 win over Hampton in a nationally-televised game on ESPNU on Sept. 29 … Made seven tackles (one unassisted) in the Aggies FCS playoff game at Richmond on Nov. 26.
2015 Season: Played two games without a start … Had season cut short because of injury … Was the Aggies second-leading tackler in a win over Shaw on Sept. 5.
High School: Played varsity football under Eric Reid … Played 26 games varsity games and made 148 tackles with 94 of those tackles unassisted … Also recovered three fumbles and had two sacks in his career.
Personal: Full name is Justin Jermaine Cates … He is the son of B. Cates and Gene Sanford … Has two siblings, Erica and Toya … He was born on December 26, 1997 … His major is mass communications.