Recruiting: Longhorns extend offer to son of former Cowboys star

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By Eric Nahlin, Inside Texas Recruiting Editor
Posted Feb 11, 2013
Copyright © 2014 InsideTexas.com


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Yesterday was quite the day for Texas coaches. All hands were on deck as they navigated the first junior day, which contained all seven – soon to be eight – commitments plus an armada of recruits and their family members. 

 

On top of that, Mack Brown and Manny Diaz found time to place two calls to Florida linebacker Dillon Bates, the son of Cowboy cult hero Bill Bates. The first call was to extend an offer to the Ponte Verde linebacker. The second was to set up a visit, or at least lay the groundwork for it.

I’ve stated lately that Texas will look out of state more in this recruiting cycle. We definitely saw this towards the end of the last cycle, and with the addition of Larry Porter, coupled with A&M proving to be  a valiant recruiting foe, Texas may have to look out of state for difference makers in key positions.

Linebacker is one of those key positions, and with Hoza Scott and Josh Walker off the market, Texas is beginning to realize if they want the full complement of difference makers at the position, it may be time to rack up the frequent flier miles and long distance minutes (are long distance minutes still a thing?).

Yesterday Texas received a commitment from Dallas Carter linebacker Cameron Hampton. Within minutes of that, they offered Bates, a 6-3, 218-pounder whose versatility makes him suitable to stellar play in any conference.

Dillon would likely make the name change to Mike at Texas, but Sam or Will could just as easily suit him; as would Jack, say for instance, if he went to Alabama. That’s the beautiful thing about a player like Bates, whether he’s played where a team needs him or best suits him, it doesn’t matter, your team will likely be better for it.

Bates was kind enough to take a few minutes out of his time and get me up to speed on his situation. Here’s how it went.

Inside Texas: How’s it going man, thanks for giving me a call. I’ve had time to a bit of background research on you, but I guess the number one thing that jumps out is your father played at Tennessee and my initial question is how much that factors into your decision.

Dillon Bates: I actually went there last weekend and got to meet the new staff so that was nice. I haven’t really spent a lot of time there, but we used to go a little when I was a kid.

IT: You have tons of offers from some of the best schools in the country. Where else have you visited?

DB: This fall we went to Florida, Tennessee, Ohio State, Alabama, Florida State, and South Carolina.

IT: Busy schedule. You also made it to San Antonio for the junior combine. What did you think about that?

DB: It was great, I did alright in individual tests and then in the drills and got MVP and invited to be in the game next year.

IT: Nice, what were your measurables?

DB: I ran a 4.57 and vertical jumped 35”. I’m not sure on the other tests.

IT: So Texas called this morning and offered?

DB: Yes they did. I talked to Coach Diaz first and then Coach Brown. I actually talked to them again about fifteen minutes ago to talk about setting up a visit this spring.

IT: Is that a visit you want to make?

DB: Yes it is. I’d like to see a practice.

IT: It’s still very early in the process for you, but, are you at a place where some schools are standing out more than others?

DB: I was kind of at that point where I had an idea of the schools I was liking, but then more schools like UCLA, Stanford and now Texas have come into the picture and I’m back to being unsure.

IT: How are schools talking about utilizing your abilities?

DB: They’re all saying they think I can play inside or outside or even play rush linebacker. They all pretty much just want to get me to campus and see where it goes from there.

IT: I’d be remiss if I didn’t ask about your dad. I’m sure you’re probably asked about him quite a bit but I have a lot of readers that are Cowboy fans. Just doing some quick math in my head I’m guessing there wasn’t much overlap between your arrival and the end of his playing days?

DB: No, not much. I was born in ’95 and he retired in ’97. But he did stay in Dallas and coach after he was done playing so I remember some of that, hanging out at the stadium with him. We lived in Texas until I was eight but then moved to Florida when he came to coach with Jack Del Rio and the Jaguars.

Notes:

This is a fun kid to talk to, bright and quick with his answers, but they don’t sound rehearsed at all.

I was kind of surprised that Dillon knew he would have gone to Plano West had the family never moved from Texas. Obviously that’s the same school that another son of a famous Cowboy attended.

Bates certainly sounds like Tennessee is a school he’s interested in, but I don’t get the feeling that he’s quite ready to Volunteer. His interest in Texas certainly sounded genuine.

 

 

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