Westbrook native Trevor Bates is going pro.

Bates graduated from Westbrook High School in 2011, then redshirted a year at the University of Maine at Orono before joining the Black Bears as a regular. He graduated in December, and was picked up in the seventh round (239th overall) of the NFL Draft on Saturday, April 30 by the Indianapolis Colts.

“I got to give all the credit to my coaches, and teammates — especially Coach [Jack Cosgrove, former UMO head], for giving me the opportunity to go to Maine,” said Bates. “He was a great coach, mentor and leader for our program. And obviously God; God’s blessed me in so many tremedous ways. I can’t think Him enough.”

Bates has stood out throughout his career, earning the admiration of those around him.

Westbrook head coach Jeff Guerette saw something in Bates from the get-go, but never knew for sure how far he would go. “I always thought he had a ton of potential, and he kind of uncorked it at UMaine. ” Guerette said. “Getting up there, working with those coaches…he’s blossomed into something a little more than I expected. I’m very happy for him.”

“He was an All-Conference football player,” Guerette said, “on some average teams. So it’s hard to figure out how good he was. But coaches around the league certainly thought he was a good player. He had a great motor, was always very physical – just a really good athlete.”

“With Trevor, his athletic ability stood out right away,” said UMO head coach Joe Harasymiak. “When he came out of Westbrook High School, he wasn’t nearly as big or developed as he is now – but you could tell the kid had something to him. He’s very explosive … He’s been the heart and soul of our defense.”

“And the kid’s character is the highest we have on our team,” Harasymiak said. “His work ethic, his commitment – you just knew that he was going to do something great…It just took time for him to develop all the necessary skills to make it to the next level.”

“It’s been a lot of hard work,” Bates said. “That’s been the catalyst that allowed me to earn everything.

For Bates, the moment he received word the Colts had snatched him up was overwhelming. “It was unbelievable, man, honestly. In that moment, I was just overflowing with joy and thankfulness and excitment, all combined together. Same with my family.”

Bates spent the draft with his family, at his mother’s house in Westbrook. “We kept it pretty small. It was a very special moment.”

According to the UMO website, Bates was named to the Colonial Athletic Association’s All-Conference First Team as a senior, when he finished the season second among Black Bears in tackles, with 57 (14.5 for a loss), and first in sacks, with 7.5. He also tallied two pass breakups and a forced fumble and he returned a fumble for a touchdown.  In his four years, he totaled 207 tackles (35 for a loss), 19 sacks, three interceptions, five forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries and nine pass breakups.

Bates was a three-time All-Conference pick, a 2015 Division I All-New England pick and a Eastern College Athletic Conference Division I Football Championship Subdivision All-Star. He’s the first Black Bear to be drafted since Kendall James, taken in the sixth round (184th overall) in 2014. He’s the 55th Black Bear to join the NFL, and the 16th to get the call via the draft.

Next up, Bates heads to Indianapolis. He played defensive end at UMO, but says he’ll be at outside linebacker and possibly middle linebacker for the Colts.

Trevor Bates poses with his mother, Christy Bates, after the UMO Black Bears’ senior luncheon this past season.