4-star DB Elijah Bates committed to Florida earlier this past June.

It’s not unusual for a prospect to commit before the senior year of high school commences. However, it isn’t overly common to see a prospect from California commit to a school all the way across the country.

Bates did just that — pledging his services to Jim McElwain and the Gators. The Pasadena native attends high school less than two miles from the Rose Bowl, which also happens to be UCLA’s home stadium.

Not only that, but USC has recruited his high school well in the past.

With two local schools right around the corner, Blades opted to blaze a new path. One might his decision curious. However, Blades has dreamed of attending Florida ever since he was a kid.

The reason: Tim Tebow.

Blades gave an interview with Gridiron Now to discuss his love of the Florida program. He had this to say about why he committed:

“I grew up saying if they ever offered me, I would commit. So when they offered me, I was amazed. I told my parents this is what I want to do and this is where I see myself for the next four years. So I went ahead and committed. My biggest influence on the Gators was Tim Tebow. Seeing him win championships, that’s when I knew I loved Florida.”

If Blades can have a career anything close to that of Tebow, the fan base in Gainesville will be thrilled.