BCS Schools Focusing on Watt

Defensive end J.J. Watt of Pewaukee (Wisc.) High School made a verbal commitment to Central Michigan University in July. Since that time, interest in the Wisconsin Defensive Player of the Year has increased significantly. Is Watt still committed to the Chippewas?

Defensive end J.J. Watt is no longer one of the best kept secrets in America's Dairyland.

Recently, one publication selected him as the defensive player of the year in Wisconsin. A two way standout at defensive end and tight end for Pewaukee High School, the 6-foot-6, 240-pound Watt made a verbal commitment to Central Michigan in July.

Since that time, Watt has seen his recruiitng stock rise dramatically. Earlier this month he received a scholarship offer from Colorado and now the Buffaloes are trying to lure Watt away from the Chippewas.

"I'm still committed to CMU, but the situation with (CMU head) coach (Brian) Kelly made me think a little," Watt said.

In the past couple weeks, Kelly had been linked to head coaching vacancies at Michigan State and Iowa State, but those schools eventually hired other candidates.

Last night, Watt said he received a phone call from CMU assistant coach Jeff Quinn, who is recruiting him for the Chippewas.

"Coach Quinn told me that Coach Kelly was staying at CMU," Watt said. "I'll find out for sure this weekend when I talk to coach Kelly on my official visit."

This weekend (Dec. 1-3), on the heels of Thursday night's MAC Championship game when the Chippewas play Ohio University, Watt said he and 11 other recruits will visit CMU, including all 10 of the Chippewas verbal commitments.

Watt said CMU is still his leader, but that he does plan to take an official visit to Colorado the following weekend (Dec. 8-10).

"Colorado told me I'm one of their top recruiting targets," Watt said.

According to BuffaloSportsNews.net, CU already has 24 verbal commitments in its 2007 recruiting class, including two defensive ends.

Watt said he's also been receiving heavy recruiting interest from Illinois, Wisconsin and Minnesota of the Big Ten. He noted that Illinois seemed close to offering but recently told him it didn't have a scholarship available.

"Wisconsin is holding me off but said they could offer me in late December or early January," Watt said.

For right now though, Watt added that he's only focusing on CMU and Colorado.

"I'm pretty set on taking the trip to Colorado," Watt said. "Something would really have to wow me on the trip though for me to change my commitment from CMU."

Watt said Colorado told him he'd have to decide within a couple days following his visit there because CU has other prospects they are interested in.

"I talked to (CMU commitment) Nick (Bellore) last night and he told me he's still committed to CMU," Watt said. "Nick will be enrolling at CMU in January and ready to compete in spring ball."

Watt said he'd love to graduate early too, but Pewaukee High School does not allow for that option. Watt added that if everything works out as planned, he, Bellore and fellow CMU recruit Jacob Olson of Hartford (Wisc.) High School will all be roommates at CMU this summer.

"Hopefully, June 15, I'll be at (CMU strength and conditioning) coach (Paul) Longo's camp," Watt said.

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