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Sunday, February 10, 2013
Longhorns offer son of former NFL player

By William Wilkerson

One of the first offers that Texas handed out during its first junior day on Sunday went to a prospect who wasn’t even there.

Outside linebacker Dillon Bates (Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla./Ponte Vedra), son of Dallas Cowboys special teams legend Bill Bates, received his offer from Mack Brown over the phone just before things kicked off in Austin.

“It’s a big offer,” Bates said. “Just growing up in Texas for the first eight years of my life. You saw burnt orange everywhere. It means a lot coming from the state and being from the state. It means a lot.”

This all came about when Bates and Longhorns defensive coordinator Manny Diaz began to message each other.

“He watched my tape and said that he was real impressed,” Bates said. “So he pushed it over to Coach Brown and he said Coach Brown immediately said that we have to have this kid. It was really exciting.”

Not only did Bates talk with Brown in the morning but he also spoke with him at 3 p.m. to further discuss the next step.

“This morning when I spoke to him they were getting ready for the junior day so he wanted to let me know I had the offer,” he said. “I spoke with Coach Diaz and he told me to call back later so we can talk about the recruiting process a little more. It was really good to catch up with him.”

The two discussed the idea of Bates coming down in the spring for a practice or a scrimmage.

“Maybe in March or April,” he said. “See what it’s like to be a player, go to the meetings and see how the coaches coach.”

Bates (6-foot-3, 195 pounds) already has offers from Georgia Tech, Maryland, Miami, Northwestern, Ohio State, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas A&M, Virginia and Wake Forest. His father played for the Volunteers.

He stopped by Tennessee’s junior day last weekend and was at Miami’s two weekends ago. He said he’d head to Florida’s next weekend and “hopefully” Notre Dame’s in a few weeks.

“Then start narrowing down things from there,” he said.