He played well enough last fall to get the attention of Auburn assistant coach Phillip Lolley, who invited the rising senior to Auburn's Big Cat Weekend. Watkins says he enjoyed the trip to the campus.
"It went well," he says. "They treated us like family, they showed us around and we had fun. I liked the weight room and they let us ask questions. I met Gene Chizik and they showed us how they do everything--how the program works."
Watkins, who is scheduled to start for a third straight year, also plays tight end, but says he prefers defense. He notes that he has early scholarship offers from UAB, Troy, South Alabama and Memphis and is hearing from other colleges like Mississippi State and Vanderbilt as well as Auburn.
The defensive end notes that he had 62 tackles with 8 1/2 sacks as a junior, but he is not satisfied with those numbers.
"The best part of my game is the pass rush," Watkins says. "I?have good moves rushing the passer and getting inside. I am working at trying to play with a high motor. Instead of going real hard one play and not as hard on another, I want to be able to go hard on every play."
Checking in at 6-4, 235 pounds, Watkins says he is still growing.
After visiting the Tigers for the Big Cat Weekend, Watkins says he will return. "I am going to an Auburn camp this summer and I am going to the Vandy camp this Saturday. I will probably go to a Georgia camp, too."