Gates played well the first half of his Husker career, but struggled following an ankle injury suffered midway through his sophomore season.
Confirming reports from Sean Callahan of HuskersOnline, Nebraska junior offensive Tackle Nick Gates has declared for the 2018 NFL Draft.
Thank you #GBR!!! pic.twitter.com/NLJcXlhZRX— Nick Gates (@nickgates77) January 2, 2018
The text of Gates statement:
My time at Nebraska has been essential to my growth, both as a football player and as a person. I would not be in the position I am in without those who have guided me along the way.
A special thank you to my family, my team, Nebraska fans and our former football staff. Coach Riley and Coach Cavanaugh, you gave me a chance I never thought I would have, and it is because of you I now get to pursue my dreams.
It has taken me a long time to make this decision. I believe Coach Frost will take Husker Nation to where we need to go! However, after talking it over with my family, friends, and coaches, I have officially decided to declare for the 2018 NFL Draft.
I couldn't be more excited for this next chapter in my life. #GBR
After redshirting in 2014, Gates jumped immediately into the starting lineup as a redshirt freshman in 2015 at right tackle. He played well, earning freshman conference honors that season. He switched sides to the left side in 2016 and played well until suffering an ankle injury against Indiana. While he didn’t miss any games, he was extremely limited and arguably ineffective the rest of the season, most notably against Tennessee in the Music City Bowl. He still earned third team all-Big Ten honors from the media for his efforts earlier in the season.
In 2017, it’s safe to say that Gates struggled along with Mike Cavanaugh’s entire offensive line. It’s somewhat surprising that Gates chose to head to the NFL based on a year and a half of struggles to show the NFL, but it’s clear from his tweet that Gates was fond of his former offensive line coach and apparently decided to leave with him.