At 6'2, 184 pounds, 2014 Galion high school wide receiver Dareian Watkins has the size to command a boatload of interest from college football coaches. Add in a 4.5 40-yard dash time, and the physical, playmaking pass catcher becomes even more coveted. A strong junior season on the gridiron has left several schools banging down the doors at Galion.
"Last week I had Illinois and Iowa (come by the school)," Watkins told GoBlueWolverine. "And then the week before I had another Illinois (visit) and then Indiana, Michigan State, Michigan. I had surgery and was out for a week and during that week Penn State and Ohio State came."
After having his tonsils removed, Watkins made a trip up to East Lansing for a junior day at Michigan State, a visit he referred to as "great."
Michigan is another school Watkins has already visited, in the stands for the Wolverines' overtime thrilling win over Northwestern -- a finish he referred to as "insane." Offensive coordinator Al Borges came by Watkins school last week offering encouraging words to the Galion coaches.
"All my coaches told me was that Michigan stopped in, wanted to let me know they said hi, and that I'm high on the recruiting board," said Watkins.
Still waiting on offers from both Michigan and Michigan State, Watkins has yet to receive consistent interest from the in-state Buckeyes, calling his relationship with Ohio State "on and off." Growing up in Ohio, Watkins didn't have much of a choice in his fandom when it came to the Scarlet and Gray.
"I was adopted in sixth grade, and ever since then my dad taught me to like the Buckeyes," said Watkins. "So I was kind of raised that way. But when it comes into recruiting, it's not about what you were raised on."
Michigan's effort to attack the state of Ohio looking for recruits has increased significantly with Brady Hoke and his coaching staff routinely battling for the state's best prospects. And with all of the Wolverines success down south, Watkins is noticing a bit of a trend.
"A lot of kids that are from Ohio, that are raised Buckeyes, choose Michigan over Ohio State," said Watkins. "That shows that obviously there's something that attracts all these Ohio kids to Michigan. I know Courtney Avery -- I played basketball with him."
With a visit planned to Indiana on February 2nd and a weekend trip to see Louisville, N.C. State and Tennessee over a three day span this winter, Watkins says he'd like to get back up to Ann Arbor as well – it's important to him to build better relationships with all of the coaches recruiting him.
"If I can relate with the coaches well and connect with them right off the bat… and seeing how they are around the other players that are going to be there when I'm there (is most important)," said Watkins. "Mainly the relationship I can build with that school in particular."
Dareian Watkins seeing a Northern trend?
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