"I was very excited. It was sort of unexpected. I haven't been in much contact with them. They said that they are going to be sending my official one to my school this week," stated Bates to PonyStampede.com. "He (Fontana) was telling me about SMU, and actually mentioned my name to Coach Reinebold. This is sort of how it all got started."
After a season that included 14 sacks and 69 tackles, The Saint Pauls School For Boys product has an offer from Florida International and SMU. He is also hearing from LSU, Tulane, Mississippi State, UCONN, Arkansans, and some other SEC schools.
"I just want to play college football," he said. "I just want the opportunity to keep playing," said Bates. "I want a good education. I like a football team that is close. I want a football team that all the players get along and play as a team."
So what does Bates know about SMU and football on the Hilltop?
"I know the academics are great and that they are building a great football team over there. It's a great campus and a great atmosphere," stated the junior. "The campus is awesome. If everything falls into place, I would definitely go there. Fontana has told me a lot about the school."
The All-District Defensive MVP, Bates is planning a trip to Dallas on April 25th, to watch the Mustang's spring game.
"I want to take my visits first before making any decisions. I think that a college and campus will stick out to me while I'm there. I don't really have a timetable right now," said the defensive end.
Bates has a 3.3 GPA and recently took home the MVP honors at the Scout.com combine in Louisiana. His performance earned him high praise:
"Bates is like a hybrid where he can rush the quarterback, drop back into coverage, or just settle in at outside linebacker. He worked at defensive end on Sunday and he could not be stopped. He had a great first step off the ball, he used that inside shoulder and speed to help him turn the corner on the offensive tackles. The offensive linemen were a good group, but Bates wasn't slowed down much at all. He is a little light to be considered a true end, but he is a versatile athlete with a great defensive mentality."