Wednesday, July 3, 2013
Bates becomes next Vols legacy commit
By Jeremy Crabtree
BEAVERTON, Ore. -- With some players, there is some suspense on which school they will eventually pick. But with others such as Dillon Bates, the nation’s No. 92 player and No. 3 outside linebacker in the country, there really isn’t.
It was no shock that Bates, who is 6-foot-3 and 213 pounds, announced his commitment to the Tennessee Volunteers on Wednesday at The Opening. Bates’ father, Dallas Cowboys special-teams legend Bill Bates, played for the Volunteers in the early 1980s before a 15-year career with Dallas.
“Having been up to Tennessee a number of times, I’ve gotten a good feel for the program,” Bates said earlier this week. “I’ve seen everything that I needed to see about the program, and really everything they have to offer really fits what I’m looking for in a school and in a program itself, too.
“Tennessee is also where my dad played, and that’s not lost on me. I feel comfortable there, and I like what the coaches are doing over there. I love the fan base and the facilities.”
Bates picked the Volunteers over offers from Alabama, Florida, Florida State, Georgia Tech, Maryland, Miami, Mississippi State, North Carolina, Northwestern, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Ole Miss, Rutgers, South Carolina, Texas A&M, UCLA and others.
This isn’t the first prospect with family ties to Tennessee to commit to Butch Jones.
Earlier this spring, Tennessee picked up commitments from defensive back Todd Kelly Jr. from Knoxville (Tenn.) Webb and receiver Neiko Creamer from Elkton (Md.) Eastern Christian. Kelly's father, Todd Kelly, was a standout defensive lineman for the Vols in the early 1990s. Creamer's father, Andre Creamer, was a defensive back for the Vols in the '80s.
Bates is the 18th player to announce his commitment to Jones. Before his commitment, the Volunteers were ranked as the No. 6 class in the country.