Iowa Leads for Watkins

Many schools are taking a wait-and-see approach with Brandon Watkins. Iowa saw enough and offered a scholarship. Hawkeye Insider caught up with the 2012 Michigan standout and filed this recruiting report.

Versatility stands out as one of Brandon Watkins' top traits. The Class of 2012 prospect plays all over the field for Southfield (MI) High.

That asset also is making it hard for scouts. College coaches are unsure where he'll play at the next level.

Watkins suffered a season-ending injury last fall and most of his tape is from his sophomore season. He played quarterback then.

Programs project him as a defensive back, running back or wide receiver.

"Most of the schools have asked me to work out for them so they can get a look at me at those other positions," the 5-foot-11, 185-pounder said. "I'm going to be going to some camps this summer that hopefully show my ability at those spots. I think I'm pretty athletic and can fit in all over the field. I just want to get on the field and play."

A few schools already have seen enough from Watkins to offer scholarships. Iowa, Toledo and Bowling Green have stepped forward with opportunities.

"There are other schools that are just uncertain of my position," he said. "Iowa wants me as a safety. Bowling Green and Toledo see me as a running back."

Watkins was set to play running back and cornerback last season before suffering a high ankle sprain. The severity of the injury kept him out of action from the fourth game on.

"I think my strength is my speed and athleticism," Watkins said. "I need to work on my technique as a running back and a defensive back. But I'm a good athlete. Put me in a spot on the field, and I can play it and make plays."

Watkins reports a season-best, 100-yard dash time of 10.89 seconds in spring track. He also states that he ran the 40 in 4.39 during an Oakland (MI) December camp and 4.41 at an Auburn Hills speed camp.

Watkins said he will camp this summer at Northern Illinois, where he watched the Huskies spring game last month. He also will attend the Sound Mind, Sound Body camp next month and an event at Michigan State where all the MAC schools will be in attendance.

"Iowa is my favorite school, but I really like Northern Illinois," Watkins said. "They're recruiting me as a running back. They have some good ones with guys like Michael Turner and Garrett Wolfe."

Watkins is torn between which position to play in college. He likes running back, but says he probably has a better chance at a longer career if he can meet his goal of playing the NFL.

"Either way, I just want to make plays," he said.

While his dream is to play pro football, Watkins knows he needs to prepare for that not happening.

"I'd say the most important part of picking a school is the education," he said. "There's no guarantee of an NFL career and you want to make sure you put yourself in a position to get a good job after school."

Watkins hopes to study sports medicine or communications in college. He likes what he's heard about those majors at Iowa. He also likes how the Hawkeyes are pursuing him with Phil Parker leading the way.

"Coach Parker, he's a real nice coach," Watkins said. "He's real calm and cool. He's done a good job of recruiting me and he really wants to get me out there."

Watkins plays high school ball with Leviticus Payne, who I wrote about earlier this month. You can read that here.

"Leviticus and I are going to come out there for a visit this summer," Watkins said. "We want to check out the facilities and get around the team."

Watkins said that he wants to make a decision before his senior year of high school or close to it.

"Maybe before the season or a game or two into it," he said. "I don't want to wait too long."


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