Dillon Bates leaves with good impression


Junior linebacker Dillon Bates (Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla./Ponte Vedra) was one of the headliners from the Class of 2014 in attendance for Florida State's 51-7 win over Boston College on Saturday.

The 6-foot-3, 195-pound prospect was already familiar with the Seminoles, of course, but he still came away with a fresh and positive influence afterward.

"When we got there, we just went on a little tour," said Bates, the son of former Dallas Cowboys safety Bill Bates. "I was really impressed with all the facilities that they have. It was really impressive to see where they all work out and everything like that. I was just real excited to see all that.

"They have a 3-D film thing that was pretty cool. But I knew a bunch about FSU coming into this, so it was about getting refreshed on that and getting to see the campus and the facilities."

Bates' primary recruiter from Florida State, defensive tackles coach Odell Haggins, has been monitoring his progress for a few months now. The duo have struck a solid foundation to their relationship that was enhanced on Saturday.

Not only is Haggins' personality a draw, but there is also a unique connection back at Bates' high school.

"Coach Haggins, my recruiting coach, came by in the spring and said that they would be recruiting me pretty hard," he said. "After that, they have been sending me a lot of mail. It has been kind of constant throughout since the spring.

"He is definitely a very personable guy. I feel like he gets to know recruits a lot. My offensive line coach went to FSU so he knows him pretty good. I learned about him and what he does. It has been a good chance to see how he is coaching during the season."

Florida State has not offered yet, but FAU, FIU, Georgia Tech, Maryland, Miami, Northwestern, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas A&M, Virginia and Wake Forest have. Should the Seminoles throw their name into the group, they ought to ascend towards the top of Bates' list.

"Definitely, that would definitely be one of my top choices," he said. "I will just come back to campus at some time during the year and they would be in one of my top few choices."

Bates' brother Hunter Bates is a senior safety at Northwestern, and another brother, Graham Bates, played at Arkansas State.