Dillon Bates has a football legacy to uphold, and he'll make his decision of where he'll play his college ball this weekend at Nike's The Opening in Portland.
Bates is the son of Bill Bates, who played 15 years in the NFL as a safety with the Dallas Cowboys, earning an All-Pro nod, a trip to the Pro Bowl, and three Super Bowl rings. He also has a pair of football-playing older brothers, Hunter and Graham, who played safety at Northwestern and Arkansas State, respectively.
But it wouldn't be impossible for the youngest Bates to be the best of the bunch. As Bud Elliott wrote in his scouting report, the 6'3, 215-pounder from Ponte Vedra Beach (Fla.) combines some of his father's defensive back instincts and talents with the tenacity required to play offensive linebacker. He's a consensus four-star recruit, with Rivals ranking him as the No. 3 outside linebacker in the nation, although he's only the No. 7 OLB per 247's composite. The composite ranks him as the 11th best player in Florida, arguably the strongest state in the country talent-wise.
The obvious choice for Bates would be his father's school, Tennessee. But he's got the option to choose pretty much any school in the country, with 28 offers from programs such as Alabama, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Texas, nearby schools in Florida and Florida State, Oklahoma, Ole Miss, South Carolina, Vandy, his brother's alma mater Northwestern, you name it. With a lot of eyes on him, he'll make his pick in Portland.