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November 30, 2013
Four-star pops for Wisconsin
It didn't take Dareian Watkins long to find a home after he backing away from a commitment to Northwestern.
The four-star prospect from Galion, Ohio, visited Wisconsin twice in the month of November. His second trip, an official to Madison this weekend, produced a commitment for the Badgers.
"Dareian committed to Wisconsin," Dareian Watkins' father, Heath Watkins, told BadgerBlitz.com. "He's a Badger."
A 6-foot-2, 192-pound athlete in the 2014 class, Watkins pledged to the Wildcats in early May but receivers coach Chris Beatty continued to recruit for the Badgers. The two parties had a strong connection dating back to Beatty's time at Illinois.
"Wisconsin has always been the right place since I visited my sophomore year," Dareian Watkins told BadgerBlitz.com. "Coach Beatty coming to Wisconsin was something unexpected and a huge blessing for me personally.
"The more I got to know coach (Gary) Andersen the more I knew I was meant to be a Badger. The fans and the atmosphere had me hooked from the 10th grade. Coach Beatty was very excited, but I don't think he ever doubted that I would play for him at Wisconsin."
Watkins, the 23rd known member of Wisconsin's current class, is expected to play wide receiver when he arrives on campus. He joins an impressive incoming group at the position with Krenwick Sanders, Chris Jones and Natrell Jamerson already committed. Four-star Jamil Kamara also lists Wisconsin as his top school.
"The coaches have been telling me to take as much time as I need but at the same time, they felt that I could be one of the leaders in this class," said Watkins, who was hosted by Rob Wheelwright. "I will be given the opportunity to come in and compete immediately, but this is Wisconsin and everybody is given that same opportunity; five-star, four-star, three-star or no stars. That doesn't matter here."
Vanderbilt and Tennessee also showed late interest in Watkins, though he did not visit any school outside of UW after decommitting from Northwestern. He accumulated over 20 offers during the course of his recruitment.
"It feels great to make my decision," Watkins said. "I think very highly of Northwestern but this (Wisconsin) is where I have always wanted to be."
This fall, Watkins passed for 1,456 yards and 18 touchdowns and also ran for 1,287 yards and 17 scores.