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Ex-Falcon Gates facing drug charge

05/06/2014, 12:00am EDT

Bowling Green defensive back Jerry "BooBoo" Gates eludes Miami quarterback Zac Dysert, and runs to the end zone for a touchdown at Doyt Perry Stadium in October, 2012. Blade

BGSU's Jerry "BooBoo" Gates runs onto the field with a bat prior to start of game against Ohio University during game at Doyt L. Perry. BLADE

BOWLING GREEN — Former Bowling Green State University football standout Jerry “BooBoo” Gates was arrested Sunday and charged with drug trafficking.

Bowling Green police said Gates, a native of Middletown, Ohio, was observed making a drug deal at 1:30 a.m. Sunday near the Community Commons area on East Wooster Street. Gates and another man, whom police identified as Laurence Blackful of Joliet, Ill., allegedly exchanged $20 in cash for two buds of marijuana later weighed at 5.0 grams.

Gates was charged with drug trafficking and later released on bail from the Wood County Jail. He is scheduled to have a preliminary hearing on the charges at 9 a.m. on Monday in Wood County Common Pleas Court.

The 22-year-old Gates was named BGSU’s athlete of the year at the school’s honors banquet last month. Last season he earned All-Mid-American Conference first team honors as a defensive back for the second straight year in leading the Falcons to the MAC championship and a bowl bid for the second straight season.

He finished third on the team with 71 tackles while intercepting two passes, forcing two fumbles, and recovering three. He averaged 30.6 yards per kickoff return, including a 94-yard kickoff return for a touchdown against Pitt in the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl.

The arrest possibly jeopardizes Gates’ chances of being taken in this weekend’s NFL draft.

He was projected to be a later-round prospect or a candidate to be signed as a free agent.

Gates was a three-time All-MAC football player for the Falcons.

After playing in 12 games as a freshman in 2010, he received second team All-MAC honors as a kick returner in 2011, posting 38 kickoff returns for a school-record 981 yards and a touchdown.

As a junior, he started 12 games at safety and posted 47 tackles while averaging 19.0 yards on kickoff returns and taking a punt back 80 yards for a touchdown against Rhode Island.

Gates completed his football eligibility last season and is no longer a member of the football program. He is enrolled as a full-time student at BG.

Gates’ criminal record includes a citation by BGSU police for criminal trespassing in 2011 when he was caught unescorted in a residence hall.

Teammate Nick McKnight, who also was charged in that incident, was suspended from the team and eventually dismissed from the program, while Gates was disciplined internally.

Contact John Wagner at:, 419-724-6481 or on Twitter @jwagnerblade.

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