Watkins Favors Bama and Adds Offers

It is still really early in the recruiting process and already the big time offers are rolling in for Cape Coral (FL) cornerback Jaylen Watkins. Tennessee and Florida State were the latest to offer Watkins, but the Alabama Crimson Tide is his current leader. The two-way star is exceptional on both sides of the ball and the recruiting process and forthcoming offers are proof of that.

Jaylen Watkins has ideal size at 6-0 and 180 pounds to be a top notch corner or receiver in college. Add that to his state certified 10.8 in the 100 meters and his combination of size and speed will make him one of the most wanted prospects on the Florida recruiting circuit for the class of 2010. The process has heated up so much for Watkins that he has decided to forgo basketball this season and concentrate on football and and his recruitment.

Scout.com talked to Watkins Monday night when he told us of five offers he had lined up already including one big one that he is really interested in.

"It's going very good I just received an offer from Alabama last week," Watkins said. "Tennessee, Ohio State, and Ole Miss are calling my coach and telling them they are going to offer. UCF, Wake Forrest, Duke, and Marshall are my other offers. All of them are recruiting me as a DB except Bama.

"I want to make a decision by August, if it takes longer, then I will. Right now I am leaning to Alabama and I like everything about them. I also like Florida and they started recruiting me first. I am going to go up there for their spring practice as well."

By Tuesday morning, Watkins had gotten word that two more big programs said they were interested enough to prove it in writing.

"I got two more offers today from Tennessee and Florida State," Watkins texted early Tuesday morning before getting the rest by phone. "Tennessee faxed one over night and it came this morning. I opened up a letter from FSU and there was an offer. I talked to Coach Dorsey from FSU for about 10 minutes already."

"I still like Alabama, but (Tennessee and FSU) opened up my eyes a little. I am taking them both into consideration. FSU I am going to visit on March 21 at a spring practice. I have to call Tennessee when I get home."

So goes it from a big time prospect in the state of Florida. Watkins is turning into one of those that every school in the South is going to be after. The Crimson Tide certainly have the early lead.

"I talked to Coach McElwain and they want me as a receiver, but I talked to Coach Saban and he wants me in his secondary," Watkins said about the Alabama offer. "I just got off the phone with Coach Saban about an hour ago and we talk a lot. Everything with them is going good."

The Florida Gators are still in the picture and for good reason.

"I was in contact a lot with Coach Addazio, but it's been a while and I haven't heard much from them lately," he said noting that he understands the coaches cannot call him at this time. "I plan on coming up for some spring practice and the spring game at Florida.

"I am definitely leaning to Alabama and Florida is still up there."

Watkins explained that his coaching staff at Cape Coral tried hard to have a starting 22 this past season and let everyone just play one position. However, it became apparent that they just had to have Watkins talent on the field in opportune positions so he was asked to play multiple positions and on both sides of the ball. By the end of the season he amassed 74 tackles, and interception, and a fumble recovery on defense. He also logged 106 yards and a touchdown as a receiver along with more than 400 yards passing and 400 yards rushing as a quarterback to go along with nine touchdowns as a signal caller.

He has proved invaluable all over the field which is why he believes he plays like one of Florida's best ever. However, at the next level, he thinks cornerback is going to be his spot.

"I want to say Percy (Harvin) because he moves around a lot from receiver to quarterback to running back," Watkins said of who he resembles on the field. "I have matured at corner by going to the combines and camps and running fast. Most of the schools say DB, but they mean cornerback."

Watkins said his coach is hearing from Ole Miss and Ohio State that offers are likely on the way. Florida wants him to come to camp and he will be doing that. He also knows a few things he will make his final decision on.

"The number one thing is academics and I am looking at that a lot at these schools," Watkins said. "The other thing is how I feel about the coaches. I want to see if they like me and really want me. Alabama is really cool and Coach Saban is always expecting me to call and I like that out of a coach. I will base it on the atmosphere and if the fans are nice and it's a football town."

Discuss on the FightinGators.com premium forums


Fightin Gators Top Stories