Leilehua cornerback Charles Watson is a top priority for Hawaii Rainbow Warriors

Watson was told he was a top prospect on Hawaii's recruiting board.

Wahiawa (Hawaii) Leilehua cornerback Charles Watson has become one of Hawaii’s top 2017 targets since Head Coach Nick Rolovich and his staff came aboard.


Watson was first offered last summer by the previous coaches, but UH has intensified their pursuit of the local prospect under Rolovich’s staff.

“(Defensive Coordinator Kevin Lempa) said I’m number one on his board, which means a lot to me,” Watson said. “I’m number one to him so he wants me more than he wants anyone else.”

Since that first offer Watson has also received scholarship offers from Colorado, Fresno State, San Diego State, and Washington State. He receives mail from just about every school across the country, including the Big 10 and SEC, but some schools that are especially showing interest include Navy, Vanderbilt, UNLV, California and Boise State.

For all the interest that Watson is picking up, there is no doubt that no other school has put in as much time building a relationship with him than Hawaii, however.


“If I were to commit right now, it would probably be 80 percent to Hawaii mostly because I haven’t talked to any of the other coaching staffs yet,” Watson said. “I talk to the other staffs who have offered me, but I talk to the Hawaii coaches like every day. They send me mail every day. I go there all the time, I’ve been to practice two or three times. I like Coach Rolo a lot.”

Unfortunately for UH, the 2017 National Signing Day is still over nine months away and the competition will likely increase as that day draws closer.

At 6-foot-2 and 178 lbs, Watson’s athleticism is gaining him interest from schools while his coverage skills are putting him over the top to earn offers.

“Tall and long-armed corners are becoming a big factor to a lot of defensive coaches,” Watson said. “They like lanky guys that are fast that they can build. For the most part, everybody is recruiting me at corner. Washington has mentioned me as a safety, nickel and corner. It doesn’t matter to me, either way I’m shutting somebody down.

“My hip turns are really good, I can flick my hips really fast. If a guy gets past me, my catch-up speed is really fast. I don’t really see any flaws in my game.”

While location has played a factor for UH in his recruitment, the Leilehua talent also once called the Bay Area home. Watson was born in Hawaii, moved to the Bay Area at about three-years-old, then returned Wahiawa around age 10. The California Golden Bears are certainly a school of interest for Watson and offers from Fresno State and SDSU would mean being closer to his family members that still in California.

“I have taken an unofficial to Cal and they’re right there by my family,” Watson said. “When I used to live in the Bay Area, I always liked them. They haven’t offered yet, so I’m seeing how that goes. If they offered, they would be in my top three or top five.”

This summer Watson will visit his mother in California and take a string of unofficial visits to the California schools, and likely attend camps with USC and UCLA, along with showings at The Opening regionals.

When it comes to his ultimate decision, a family atmosphere is among the top of his priorities. Watson really likes what he has seen first-hand from UH in that department.

“I think that’s what is going to be a big part of wherever I go is the coaching staff and family atmosphere,” Watson said. “At Hawaii, it’s like a family when you go there. I feel it already. Being part of a family is a big thing to me.”


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