Expectations are high for the All-MEAC defensive lineman … Has been a part of an incredible defensive line for the past three seasons … Injuries shortened what could have been a superb 2017 season … Will enter the 2019 season as the top defensive tackle … 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 … Can bench press 225 pounds 18 times … Can also bench press 355 pounds and squat 500 … Has played in 32 games with 16 starts … Has 75 tackles (41 unassisted), 21.5 tackles for loss and 9 .5 sacks in his career.
2018 Season: Played in 11 games with 11 starts … Made 36 tackles (21 unassisted) with 8.0 tackles for loss for 29 yards and 3.5 sacks (21 yards) … Ranked 13th in sacks in the MEAC and 19th in tackles for loss … Earned first-team All-MEAC honors after the season … Opened the season with seven tackles (three unassisted) and a sack in the Aggies big 20-1win over No. 6 Jacksonville State on Aug. 25 … Made six tackles (all unassisted) in the Aggies 16-13 loss to Morgan State on Sept. 22 … Had five tackles (none unassisted) and a tackle for loss in the Aggies 34-6 at Delaware State on Oct. 6.
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.