Florida had their first full pad practice on Saturday and also hosted several unofficial visitors.
One of those prospects was Ponte Vedra (Fla.) High linebacker Dillon Bates who made his second visit to Florida in as many months.
“It was a good visit, we got there around 10 this morning,” Bates said. “I went and sat in the special team meeting and followed that by going to the defensive meeting and then the linebacker meetings before heading out to practice.”
Even though the 6-foot-3, 218-pound Bates was watching Florida’s practice film, he still felt like he learned something from watching film.
“The verbal stuff they were talking about during film was impressive,” Bates said. “They were talking about some of the schemes and stuff and it was pretty easy to understand most of it. One thing they focus on is the little things and fundamentals, like lining up and stuff. I think I can take how they watch film back to my teammates and help us watch film better and keep an eye on the little things more.”
Bates called the practice good and full of intensity.
While watching practice, Bates took extra notice of the coaching staff and how coach D.J. Durkin was coaching the linebackers.
“All of the coaches are full of energy out there,” Bates said. “I really liked Coach Durkin’s style of coaching and how he can talk a mile a minute with energy. It’s a good combination for a coach to have. He is also big on not being in your face, but also getting on you when you do something wrong but also praising you when you do something right. He explains everything well and is on top of the details.”
After practice, Will Muschamp pulled Bates aside and told him that Florida would be by to see him this spring and that he was glad he visited.
Next up for Bates is a trip to Alabama on April 6th and after he takes that visit, he plans to start to narrow down his choices.
“Towards the start of my spring practice I’m going to narrow it down,” Bates said. “Probably a top 5 or 10. Florida will definitely be in that group and I plan to visit again either this spring or summer.”