Interview: offensive lineman Jordan Watson

He's from Fayetteville, Ga., a spot dominated by University of Georgia football fans, and has four Georgia graduates in his immediate family. Still, offensive lineman Jordan Watson says "I'm a Kentucky Wildcat" and thinks he will be joining a program ready to challenge traditional Southeastern Conference powers.

He's from Fayetteville, Ga., a spot dominated by University of Georgia football fans, and has four Georgia graduates in his immediate family. Still, offensive lineman Jordan Watson says "I'm a Kentucky Wildcat" and thinks he will be joining a program ready to challenge traditional Southeastern Conference powers.

"I watched Kentucky take (national champion) Auburn to the wire last year. I watched them beat South Carolina. I have watched them battle Georgia," said the 6-4, 289-pound Watson. "I?hope with the players UK?has been signing, instead of taking those teams to the wire we will whip them.

"Georgia football is a big deal here, but I wanted to look around. There was never any automatic favorite school. I wanted to look around and I?am so happy and excited to be going to Kentucky. My mom cried and my dad just hugged me when I made my decision and called coach (Joker) Phillips to tell him. I want to make a big impact with Kentucky and I?think Kentucky can do that with the recruits it is signing."

Watson became the third offensive lineman in recent days to commit to UK and he says offensive line coach Mike Summers was a big reason why he announced Tuesday he'll sign with the Wildcats in February.

He had nine Division I?scholarship offers and had narrowed his list to UK, South Florida and Mississippi State. Watson also had offers from Wake Forest, Memphis, Middle Tennessee State, Georgia Tech, Georgia Southern, Jacksonville State, and Indiana. The three-star lineman says every school had nice facilities. His decision came down to the intangibles.

"It came down to people and relationships," Watson said. "Coach Summers is a genius. He coached the line with the Atlanta Falcons. He knows the game and how to coach you and what works and what doesn't. He really impressed me.

"We spoke for about an hour a week ago. He had me floored within five minutes. He is so smart about football and knows the game so well. There was not any one thing that made me pick Kentucky. It was taking my time, doing my research, praying, loving the campus, meeting the coaches and then coach Summers. A lot of weird things just worked out."

It didn't hurt that former teammate Josh Clemons signed with Kentucky in February and will be a freshman running back with the Cats this season.

"Me and Josh Clemons have been playing together since we were 8 years old. We have great chemistry. It was awesome blocking for him in high school. He's my biggest cheerleader and has really been after me to pick Kentucky," Watson said.

He says his offensive line coach, who played at Mississippi State and for the Tennessee Titans, has instilled a physical toughness in him.

"He has taught me how to play mean, bad-boy, smash-mouth football. I love to play nasty, but not dirty. I will not take cheap shots and get my team 50 yards in penalties," Watson said. "I love to play hard, intense football. I feel I?have a high football IQ and know the game.

"But there's nothing I?love more than to have a third-and-one and or third-and-goal and get to mess somebody up. I love blowing people off the ball and playing hard. I lead by example, not by yelling. I love being an imposing force. I feel like I'm a great run blocker and a good pass blocker, too."

While players sometimes make verbal commitments and continue to take visits, Watson says he will not do that.

"I'm not going to disrespect the team or coaches by going to other places to visit. I will be at a lot of Kentucky home games, but nowhere else," Watson said. "I?had other options. I picked Kentucky because that's where I wanted to be. It's a done deal with me and Kentucky."


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