Three weeks ago Glenbard West (Glen Ellyn, IL) High standout Chris Watt wasn’t sure if he was on Michigan’s radar. In recent days, however, he has learned that not only is he in their sites, they’ve locked in on him.
“After the coaching change happened with Coach Rodriguez, they weren’t able to see my film,” Watt explained. “I think it was lost in the transition or something. They started showing interest when I sent my film back up there like two or three weeks ago. They were really happy when they saw it and they decided to offer me. They invited me up for their Night of Champions last week.”
Because he had never been to Ann Arbor before, he wanted to take advantage his time on campus by taking a look at more than just the football program. He did just that and came away extremely impressed.
“Me and my dad woke up around six in the morning and we drove up to Ann Arbor,” recalled Watt. “We were able to walk around the campus for about two hours to see what campus life was like, see the students walk around, and see some of the other things. It was really cool because (the campus is) like a little city. I really like it. All the students made it seem like it was a really cool place to be.”
“Next we were able to go over to Schembechler Hall and get situated,” Watt continued. “First I talked to Coach Shafer, the defensive coordinator (and Chicago area recruiter). I guess that they had already sent out a scholarship offer, but I hadn’t received yet. I found out about it there. Then I had a conversation with Coach Frey (the offensive line coach) a little bit. Then at the end of the night when everyone left we started watching film from the West Virginia offense, and both Coach Frey and Coach Rodriguez were telling me how I fit as a quick lineman at offensive guard.”
Since the Night of Champions was taking place during the visit, another Michigan coach was on center stage for much of the evening. Watt found strength coach Mike Barwis to be quite memorable.
“He was really upbeat…and kinda crazy,” Watt said laughing. “He is really passionate about his job. He really loves what he does. The stuff that he does, I think it would benefit me. I really like what he does up there.”
While it’s clear that the visit enhanced the youngster’s view of
the Maize & Blue, he maintains that there are a number of other programs
that are receiving equal consideration.
“Besides Michigan I really like Notre Dame, Ohio State, and other Big Ten schools like Northwestern and Illinois,” Watt reported. “I’m thinking Midwest right now. I also want to see schools like Virginia and Stanford. I’ve visited Northwestern, Notre Dame, Wisconsin, and Indiana. I plan on going to see Iowa, Illinois, Notre Dame, and Ohio State. Then I plan on getting back up to Ann Arbor and hopefully get a chance to see practice and hang out with the players. At the Night of Champions I wasn’t able to talk with any players.”
With offers from all of the aforementioned programs, the remaining visits are the only thing that stands between Watt and a decision on which school he will attend. As it turns out, the trips, and his choice will likely be made sooner rather than later.
“Probably in April I’ll be getting out hopefully to the schools I’m really interested in like Michigan, Notre Dame, Ohio State, and others for more one-on-one visits,” he said. I don’t know where I’ll camp. I’ll have to sit down and figure out what schools I’m really interested in and maybe camp at a few. If I decide (to commit) before the summer starts, I’ll probably just camp at the school I choose. I think I want to make my decision by the summer or during the summer… definitely sometime before my senior season.”
When commitment time finally comes, there are some very key criteria that the school that earns his pledge will have to exhibit.
“I want be able to like the people I’m going to be spending the
next four or five years of my life with,” Watt indicated. “I think
academics will be important. I want to have a degree walking out of there that
is good in the real world. Then tradition and coaches… all of that kind
of ties in. I want to play for a national championship.”