April 24, 2024

Top247 CB Cai Bates announces his commitment to LSU

Orlando (Fla.) Edgewater Top247 cornerback Cai Bates announced his commitment to LSU on Wednesday, celebrating his mother’s birthday in the process, choosing the Tigers over his other finalists in Alabama, Florida State and Tennessee.

The 6-foot-1 1/2, 180-pound Bates becomes commit No. 20 for head coach Brian Kelly and the Tigers in the 2024 recruiting class, a haul that ranks No. 12 nationally per the 247Sports Composite.

“Definitely the culture of the program,” Bates told 247Sports of why he committed to LSU.

“The coaching staff and relationships they built with my whole family. Just the way I see myself going in there, competing to play as a true freshman and having an opportunity to play around the best people and be in the SEC and have the best competition.”

Bates looks forward to suiting up for Kelly and future position coach Robert Steeples.

“Coach Kelly has his winning tradition,” Bates said. “Knowing he came into the SEC his first year and was really able to compete and show he belongs in the SEC. The way he came in on a recruiting visit and showed he cares about all his players and he definitely wants to graduate champions and has a plan for you after you leave LSU and he wants to give you 100 percent while you’re there so you can have the best future as well.

“Definitely Coach Steeples being able to come from a player’s viewpoint and coach. Knowing he spent time in the NFL. He’s able to teach you through your own eyes. Him being able to build a great relationship with my family and him showing his plan for me and the way I learn and adapt, he’s great at teaching that and I feel I have a great relationship with him and will be able to excel under his coaching.”

247Sports Director of Scouting Andrew Ivins is obviously high on Bates as a prospect.

“A pass catcher turned pass defender with plenty of developmental upside given length and tentacle-like arms,” Ivins wrote in his evaluation. “Started prep career off playing wide receiver before being thrust into action at cornerback midway through junior season. Found success right away in coverage, totaling four interceptions and seven pass break ups in just two games. Still figuring things out from a technical standpoint, but has no issues tracking the football and putting himself in position to make a play at the catch point. Lack of verified speed markers is not ideal in an era where perimeter defenders are constantly challenged vertically, but does have a basketball background and natural bounce shows up on tape. Must keep evolving and take to coaching, but should be viewed as a potential multi-year starter at the Power Five level. Will need to get better as an open-field tackler if he’s going to make a real difference in run support or even get a look at safety, but has some of what’s required to thrive in a defensive scheme that wants to press often. NFL scouts will likely be drawn to his size one day.”

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