Dillon Bates announcement pumps up Vol Nation
Though the Dillon Bates announcement came much later than anticipated, it sure was worth the wait for Vol Nation. Because another legacy is now officially part of Tennessee’s 2014 recruiting class.
Dillon Bates became UT’s 18th commitment and the Vols eighth from within the ESPN 300. He joins running back Jalen Hurd from Hendersonville (Tenn.) Beech and Todd Kelly Jr. from Knoxville (Tenn.) Webb as the three ESPN 150 prospects in Tennessee’s class.
The commitment was hardly a surprise. Bates, who is from Ponte Vedra (Fla.) High, had long been thought to be leaning towards Tennessee. Some even thought he might be a silent commitment weeks ago. Bates father, Bill Bates, was a UT fan favorite before a standout career as a special teams player for the Dallas Cowboys. Bates announced his decision from The Opening camp on the Nike campus in Beaverton, Ore.
“Having been up to Tennessee a number of times, I’ve gotten a good feel for the program,” Bates told ESPN. “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’ other two finalists were Alabama and Florida. He also had scholarship offers from several schools. The 6-foot-3, 213-pound prospect is rated the No. 92 player in the nation.
As far as other legacies, Kelly Jr.’s father was a standout defensive end for the Vols in the early 1990′s. Receiver Neiko Creamer’s father, Andre Creamer, was a defensive back for the Vols in the 1980′s. Creamer is from Elkton (Md.) Eastern Christian.