For instance, the charismatic Brooklyn native said he couldn’t stop laughing watching the Marlon Wayans comedy “Little Man” – which, incidentally, is the last thing anyone will call the 6-foot-4, 225-pound blue-chipper.
I caught up with Lansford Watson to talk about his verbal commitment Tuesday to Maryland, and he sounded like a young man who is ecstatic about his big decision. Watson, a five-star prospect rated the No. 7 prospect in the East, said there has been no shortage of people giving him grief for picking Maryland over Southern Cal.
His response: “Why not go there? I can help bring in other top recruits in the country and we can win a national championship.”
Maryland ability to showcase the pass-catching abilities of its tight ends and H-backs was one of the most important factors in Watson’s decision – specifically, the success Vernon Davis enjoyed in his three years before the San Francisco 49ers picked him sixth in the NFL Draft.
“Lots of schools were like tight-end this, tight-end that … If I went to USC, they’d probably use me as a blocking tight end. They wouldn’t use my potential,” he said.
“The trend right now is to have small receivers who can go and get it, and have the big guys blocking. I didn’t want that to be me.”
Watson said he doesn’t have a preference for whether he’s split out wide or lined up tight, as long as he’s getting a chance to showcase his vast abilities; he runs a 4.6-second 40-yard dash, bench-presses 300 pounds and squats 415, and has great athleticism. Last season he caught 53 passes for 850 yards and 11 touchdowns.
Watson got along well with Terps recruiting coordinator Dave Sollazo, another New York guy, as well as Friedgen, and loves the area’s combination of city life and suburbia. His sister Danielle, 25, will be making the move south with him next year.
“New York is boring. She’s been here all her life,” he said. “She’s going to help me a lot.”
Watson has a bit of ground to cover academically but with the recruiting process completed, he’s focusing all of his energy on making sure there are no questions about his eligibility as a freshman. He’s taking Economics and History in summer school in an effort to raise his GPA, and says his grades will not be an issue.
“I’m good with that,” he said.
Watson is also making some effort to alert the Maryland staff to other players who’ve impressed him. More on that later…