Tradition, attitude and culture are three huge factors on the recruiting trail, and the Alabama Crimson Tide excel in all three areas. It's no wonder that 4-star outside linebacker Dillon Bates is feeling good now that he has an offer from Alabama.
Bates is the son of former Tennessee star defensive back Bill Bates, who went on to play 15 seasons of NFL football all as a member of the Dallas Cowboys.
The connection to the Tennessee program is notable, especially in a recruiting cycle in which we've seen a few "legacy recruits," but for all intents and purposes it seems as if this latest offer has really made an impact with Bates Jr.
Bates talked about the offer and how it went down, via Andrew Bone of TideSports:
"I was offered by Alabama today," said Bates. "I have been in contact with Coach Smart. I talked to him last night. He kind of mentioned they were going to offer, but wanted me to call today and talk to Coach Saban.
"It's not everyday you get to talk to Coach Saban. It was a real humbling experience, a blessing. We talked for a good amount of time. He said how much he likes me on film. He talked about what they look for in linebackers. He said I can play almost all three linebacker positions.
Bates went on to talk more about his thoughts on Alabama, per Bone's report:
"They win," Bates said. "There isn't another school who has as many wins as they have in the past five years. If you go there you have a really good chance at playing for championships. You can better yourself as a football player and academically. You can also better yourself as a person. I hope to get up there in a couple of weeks, but if not I'll likely be up there on April 6th."
It's worth noting that Bates doesn't appear to be anywhere near making a decision, as he is hoping to have a top five whittled down by the end of summer (Bone). Florida, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Texas A&M are all listed as "warm interests" on his 247Sports interest list, but that very well could change now that Nick Saban and the Crimson Tide have thrown their proverbial hat in the ring.
Alabama's winning ways have obviously caught Bates' attention, but to be frank, it would be hard not to notice Alabama as a highly-ranked recruit. Saban has literally built a modern-day college football dynasty, and the Crimson Tide are going to continue to roll as long as he keeps recruiting at this pace and with this efficiency.
Barring any sudden and drastic changes, it doesn't look like Saban is going to slow down anytime soon.
Alabama is going to keep drawing in elite recruits, which will allow it to re-stock the depth chart on a yearly basis. As soon as a star leaves for the NFL or via graduation, another one steps up with experience under his belt and a hunger that only a championship (or two, or three) can satisfy.
It's much easier said than done, but Saban has perfected his system and that all stems from recruiting. His ability to recruit a player that fits the mold of each position is bar none, and that's one of the many reasons Alabama has been able to sustain this run of dominance.
Bates would fit in perfectly as a linebacker on the Crimson Tide's defense.
He checks in at 6'3'', 220 pounds and is ranked as the No. 11 outside linebacker in the 2014 class according to the 247Sports Composite Rankings.
There's still plenty of time for his recruitment to really come into focus, but look for Alabama to be a major player from here on out.
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