Scouting Report, Video Highlights and Predictions for Tennessee's Dillon Bates
Dillon Bates is one of the main reasons why Tennessee has the No. 2 recruiting class in the 247Sports recruiting rankings. Head coach Butch Jones has a talented group of linebackers coming to Knoxville, and the 4-star recruit is the top prospect among the group.
Bates will become a beloved player on Rocky Top, as he is the son of former Tennessee and Dallas Cowboys safety Bill Bates.
His skills and talent deserve a more in-depth look.
Who Is Dillon Bates?
Bates is a tough linebacker who attends Ponte Vedra High School in Florida. He had 105 tackles and three sacks as a sophomore before totaling 65 tackles and three interceptions as a junior, per 247Sports.
Bates participated in The Opening this summer, which is a prestigious football camp for the nation's best prospects. He will play in the 2014 Under Armour All-America Game in January.
Dillon Bates' Scouting Report: Strengths
At 6'3" and 220 pounds, Bates is one of the most fundamentally sound linebackers in the country. He has terrific ball-location skills, which he uses to quickly read plays at the snap. The Florida native does not get fooled easily due to his natural instincts and intelligence.
Bates displays great short-area explosiveness to shoot to the ball when attacking in the box. He plays on the flanks, but he has the toughness and strength to hold up inside if he were asked to play there.
Bates always takes a proper path to the ball. He plays fast, but he knows how to control his speed to make sure he does not overrun plays. The future Volunteer has excellent technique at the point of attack, evidenced by his ability to use his mitts as weapons when shedding blocks.
He is capable of buzzing back into coverage on passing downs, yet Bates has better value as a blitzer.
Dillon Bates' Scouting Report: Weaknesses
Bates is a solid athlete, but he shows some stiffness in space. He is better in a straight line when pursuing the ball.
Bates' slight stiffness will hinder him in coverage, as defending running backs out of the backfield and slot receivers will be tough for him.
Dillon Bates' Junior Highlights
These are Bates' highlights from his junior season at Ponte Vedra High School. He shows great savvy throughout the tape, plus his vision is noticeable. Bates routinely reacts quickly to both running and passing plays to execute his assignment in a hurry.
Bates is too tough, fast and smart not to be a successful player for the Vols. He already plays with good fundamentals, which will only be enhanced with college coaching.
Although he is more of a straight-line athlete, he has just enough agility to play on passing downs. Bates will not excel in man coverage, but his savvy and awareness will help him become effective in zone schemes.
He will be a multi-year starter at Tennessee.
2014 Bleacher Report College Football Recruiting Heat Map
Bates can be found by using the 2014 Bleacher Report College Football Recruiting Heat Map. This interactive tool is a great resource for recruiting fans to use to track the nation's top recruits!