Armon Watts says he was a little bit surprised when he started hearing from a member of Kentucky's football staff.
The St. Louis (Mo.) Christian Brothers College High School standout had mostly been drawing interest from college programs in the Midwest when the Wildcats came calling.
"I didn't know much about them, other than they were in the SEC," Watts said. "But coach John Schlarman had been staying in touch with me a lot, and one day earlier this spring, he said they had a scholarship offer for me. I was pretty excited about it because it's the SEC. It's really good football.
"I'm building a good relationship with (Schlarman). He seems like a really good guy."
According to Watts, the UK staff is impressed by his "love of the game" and how hard he plays on each snap. "Coach told me they really like how aggressive I go from the snap to the whistle."
Watts (6-5, 273) recorded 57 tackles and four sacks as a junior. In addition to UK, he has drawn early offers from Missouri, Cincinnati, Toledo, Ball State, Idaho and Memphis. Programs like Michigan State, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Northwestern and Kansas State have also been showing strong interest.
He has taken unofficial visits to Mizzou and K-State so far, but expects to do more this summer.
"I'm trying to get a plan together," Watts said. "But I'm looking for a date to visit Kentucky. I'd like to go see what it's like."
Asked what some of the key factors will be as he attempts to narrow his list of schools for the fall, Watts said: "Really, it's just how I fit in with the program, with the people there, the coaches and players. It's going to be wherever I feel the most comfortable."
Will location be a factor?
"Nah," Watts said. "Not at all. I'll pick the best school for me no matter where it is."
Watts has played the nose guard position in his high school's defensive scheme. He says most college coaches are looking at him as a defensive tackle, but a few have suggested he may also be able to play defensive end.
Kentucky will be targeting several prospects at both tackle and end for 2014. The Cats currently have three senior tackles on the roster in Mister Cobble, Donte Rumph and Tristian Johnson. The position's depth was tested this spring when Rumph suffered a shoulder injury that required surgery. He is expected to return when fall camp opens.
Missouri DL holds offer from Cats
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