Maryland In Consistent Contact with Florida Athlete

Edgewater (FL) three-star athlete Cai Bates saw his recruitment soar last month as several Power Five schools jumped into the mix for the 6-foot-2, 175-pound prospect. Though he’s a two-way starter at the high school level, Bates said the bulk of his offers have come in on the defensive side of the ball as he soaks in the new attention.

“I’m just trying to process all the offers that I have and take it slow,” Bates told IBG. “I had one game where I had three interceptions so I feel like my highest ceiling will be at defensive back in college, but some schools are on both sides of the ball like Cincinnati, Pitt. They gave me a chance on both sides and let me decide.”

Bates had an easy answer when asked why he’s leaning toward playing defense at the next level. “I feel like I have my mind made up but I’m still on the fence because I still do like playing receiver. I feel like there are a lot of 6-foot-2 receivers, not a lot of 6-foot-2 corners. I have natural ball skills, played receiver before so I feel like it gives me that advantage.”

NC State became the latest school on Wednesday to offer, joining Cincinnati, Duke, Georgia Tech, Illinois, Miami, Missouri, Oregon State, Pitt, Temple, UCF, Wake Forest and West Virginia this calendar year. “A lot of the schools that have offered speak to me often but a few of them don’t hit me up as often as they should, so I’m starting to pick and choose where I know I’m wanted at.” Maryland jumped in with an offer back on January 25 after outside linebacker coach James Thomas trekked through his school and Bates said the Terps are among the schools that have been reaching out consistently since.

“James Thomas reaches out every day, like almost every single day. I also talk with [Gunter] Brewer too so I think they’re on the same page with where I stand with them.”

Bates admitted he doesn’t know much about the details of the Terrapins, but knows a familiar face headed to College Park. “I didn’t know much. A few of my friends with I used to play with were committed to Maryland. One of them [Derrick Rogers] is going to Purdue, the other [Dylan Wade] is going to play defensive end but he used to play tight end.”

Bates doesn’t have any visits set right now, but will look to visit Rutgers, Kentucky, Cincinnati, Louisville and Florida once the dead period ends.

Bates is rated a three-star prospect and an 86 overall by On3, sitting as the 99th-best prospect in Florida.

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