November 21, 2011

Watkins enjoys return trip to OSU

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One Ohio sophomore that is getting serious interest so far from Ohio State is Galion athlete Dareian Watkins. The 6-foot-2, 184-pound prospect has been on the Buckeyes' radar for a few months now and was once again in Columbus on Saturday for an unofficial visit.

"It was pretty exciting," said Watkins. "It definitely would have been nice (for Ohio State) to come up with the win but down the stretch it was crazy inside the stadium. When they stopped them four times around the goal line and everything, it was really crazy."

Watkins had previously been in Columbus for the opener against Akron but said that the whole experience for the Penn State game was better than his previous visit.

"(Saturday) was 10 times better," he explained. "The game was better but also the weather, when I was at the Akron game it was like 110 degrees. The game was crazy and with the fans and everything, it was nice."

Watkins has been as busy as any Ohio sophomore when it comes to making unofficial visits this fall. Watkins talked about his two most recent trips prior to Ohio State.

"Last weekend I went to Cincinnati and then the weekend before that I went to Wisconsin," he said. "Cincinnati was nice. It wasn't like a college atmosphere because it was at the Bengals stadium but it was nice. Before the game people were sky diving onto the field so that was neat. (Wisconsin) was probably so far the best experience just with like the whole day. I had a really good conversation with coach (Joe) Rudolph, we made a pretty good connection so that was cool and then they destroyed Purdue."

After a season full of visits and speaking with coaches, Watkins says that two programs are currently at the top of his constantly growing list.

"Ohio State and Wisconsin are my top two," he said. "(On Ohio State) my whole family is Buckeye fanatics so I just grew up a Buckeye fan. We have a whole room dedicated to Ohio State and at my Dad's work they have a wall with Ohio State stuff, like national championship pictures and everything, so it's just a family tradition here. (On Wisconsin) so far they are the only school that has asked for two full game films and my highlight film and coach Rudolph said he was going to come to the school in December and check on my grades and talk to my teachers and stuff."

On the field, Watkins is coming off a strong sophomore season in which he racked up nearly 2,000 yards of total offense and 26 total touchdowns from his quarterback position.

"I personally thought that I played better than what I thought I was going to," he said. "Last year my mindset wasn't really on quarterback because I wanted to play wide receiver. This year I put my mindset on it and when you have the confidence to play the position you do a lot better."

As a prospect that is still growing and could project on either side of the ball, most programs are taking a wait and see approach on what position they will ultimately recruit Watkins to play.

"The only coach that has said anything to me about position is coach (Jeff) Burrow at Kent State," he said. "He wants me to play safety. Other than that, I'm really just an athlete right now."


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