"It's really humbling to know that the number one team in the nation wants you," said Dillon Bates.
The 6-foot-3, 225-pound linebacker out of Ponte Vedra (Fla.) High has a who's who of college football offer sheet thus far, but Alabama's was big in its own right.
"I've talked to Coach [Kirby] Smart a lot ad he told me to call him a few nights ago, and he mentioned the offer then," said Bates. "Then I called Coach [Nick] Saban yesterday (Thursday) and he officially offered."
Like most programs, the ability to play multiple spots combined with several classic linebacker traits is what the defending national champs saw of the four-star talent on tape.
"Coach Saban told me they watched my film and liked how I played with my hands, how I'm instinctive, play with intensity and can run," he said. "Coach Smart was saying how versatile I am and that I can play three out of the four linebacker positions."
Bates, who plans on visiting Tuscaloosa on April 6 for spring practice, has a lot of research to get to in addition to visits in the near future before he begins to eliminate schools from contention.
"I haven't really narrowed it down much just because there have been many new offers that I am taking seriously," he admitted. "After I take visit this spring, I should have it down by 10.
"Then summer down to five going into the official visits."
With a decision likely geared towards announcing at one of the All-American games, though not currently committed to one, Bates took a big step towards getting into one of his choice after logging a 109 SPARQ rating earlier in March en route to being invited to Nike's prestigious summer camp, The Opening.
"It was great!" he said of the invite. "That's what I've really been working to get since last year and it was one of my big goals to get."
Bates, the son of former Tennessee standout and Dallas Cowboy Super Bowl champion Bill Bates, is ranked the No. 13 outside linebacker in the class of 2014 on FOX Sports NEXT/Scout.com