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February 4, 2014
FV100 No. 7: Dillon Bates
FlaVarsity analysts have reviewed the players, the film and the accolades and compiled our own Post-season countdown of the top 50 players in the state of Florida for the class of 2014.
We've hit the Top 20 players - just in time for signing day. Throughout the day we'll profile the 20 players from Florida that have made the biggest impact.
Dillon Bates first appeared on our radar at the beginning of his junior season. We saw the potential in him - and he performed at the Rivals Camp Series enough to get an invite to the Rivals100 Challenge. Once again, he didn't disappoint. Bates has progressed from an inside linebacker to an outside linebacker and his speed has steadily gotten faster.
At the UnderArmour All America practices we watched, Bates read the plays very well and responded, often defeating two blockers in the process. He has the ability and the upper body strength to be a run-stopper.
He stays low to the ground in tackles and lifts up opponents with his leg drive. He doesn't over pursue and plays pass coverage with his hips - like a defensive back. He is - in our opinion - the total package at linebacker. Bates will follow his father - Bill Bates - steps and head to Tennessee - and maybe even the NFL. For now -he's the highest ranked four-star in the state of Florida.