Dillon Bates is a consensus four-star recruit from Ponte Vedra Beach (Fla.) Ponte Vedra High School. The 6'3, 220-pound outside linebacker prospect has an impressive offer sheet, as he's one of the most sought-after outside linebackers in the 2014 recruiting class.
Depending on which service you prefer, Bates is anywhere from the third to the 17th-best outside linebacker prospect in the country. He's also rated in the top 20 overall prospects in the state of Florida, perhaps the best state in the country at producing college football talent. As of late May, he holds offers from a number of the country's biggest programs, including Tennessee, Alabama, Florida, South Carolina, Texas, Florida State, Georgia Tech, Louisville, Notre Dame and Ohio State, among dozens of others.
Bud Elliott, National Recruiting Analyst: Bates is a very good linebacker recruit. The son of former Tennessee safety Bill Bates, his defensive back lineage is apparent.
Bates has a solid frame capable of eventually playing at 235 or more pounds. He has long arms that help him to clog passing lanes, tip and intercept balls. That said, he is more of a zone pass defender than someone who will be asked to turn and cover deep downfield. Still, he profiles as a three-down linebacker.
Against the run, Bates has a chance to be very productive. He reads and reacts to the run very well, and uses his length to defeat blockers and keep them off his shoulder pads. Bates isn't a huge hitter, but he doesn't yield much, either, and I would expect that to continue at the college level.
Bates has a strong chance to play early, assuming there is a need at the school he picks, because of his understanding of the game and his instincts.
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