Watkins Looking at Iowa Trip

Dareian Watkins holds offers from most of the schools in the Big Ten. The Ohio athlete plans to get out and see some of them in person this spring. See where he's headed and when he might make a decision in this update.

With almost 20 scholarship offers in hand, Ohio athlete Dareian Watkins has reached a crucial point in his recruitment.

"I want to start narrowing things down over the next month and hopefully decide by May 1," he said.

Watkins reports Big Ten scholarship offers from Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan State, Minnesota, Northwestern, Purdue and Wisconsin. Ohio State and Michigan are showing him interest.

"We have been looking into visiting Iowa this spring," Watkins said. "So far, the only visits scheduled are Northwestern, Indiana, and Illinois."

Hawkeye assistant Brian Ferentz has visited Watkins three times at Gailon High. Iowa offered the 6-foot-2, 185-pounder on the second stop, he said.

"Coach Ferentz compared me to Micah Hyde," Watkins said. "That's a huge honor."

Hyde was named the Big Ten's defensive back of the year in 2012. The Ohio native just finished competing at the NFL combine in preparation for April's draft.

Schools are split on where Watkins fits at the next level. Some of them see him catching passes while others think he'd be better at defending them.

"I want to go to a school with great fan support," Watkins said. "I want to play early, if possible, and I'd like to play wide receiver."

Iowa sees Watkins as a playmaker on both sides of the ball. The Hawkeyes would give him a look at receiver first, he said.

"My strengths are my versatility and toughness," Watkins said. "I think a weakness is that I haven't had an opportunity to work on a single position to get really good. I've been told that my versatile style and physical play is similar to Hines Ward. That would be a comparison I like.

"I love to compete and I like that football is a tough game that requires the ability to play through adversity."

Watkins would appear to be the type of receiver that fits well in the system of Iowa offensive coordinator Greg Davis.

"I like to get the ball on wide receiver screens and going deep," he said.

Watkins still is undecided on a college major.

"I enjoy working with computers and would like to do some programming," he said.


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