A pair of previously reported transfers from the Big Ten have officially come to fruition.
In announcing a total of five players to its football roster, Louisiana Tech announced that defensive end Houston Bates and quarterback Cody Sokol have signed financial aid agreements and will play for the Bulldogs in 2014. Both players are graduates and will have one year of eligibility remaining.
By far the bigger of the two additions could be the player from the defensive side of the ball.
After starting two games for Illinois in both 2011 and 2012, Bates, who played a hybrid linebacker/defensive end position for the Illini, started all 12 games as a junior last season. He finished second on the team with 12 tackles for loss, a total that was good for ninth in the Big Ten. His 3.5 sacks were second on the team as well.
In announcing Bates’ decision to transfer, Illini head coach Tim Beckman stated that the player “indicated that he wanted to finish closer to home and his family.”
Sokol spent the first two seasons of his collegiate career at Scottsdale (Ariz.) Community College before joining the Hawkeyes as a three-star JUCO recruit in 2012. After redshirting that first season, Sokol competed with Jake Rudock and C.J. Beathard for the starting job in 2013, which was ultimately won by the former.
In addition to Tech, Sokol had also drawn interest from Ball State, Hawaii, New Mexico State, North Texas, South Alabama and Wake Forest.
Iowa had confirmed in mid-March that Sokol would be leaving and transferring to Tech.