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
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
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
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.