Gene Chizik Going In-Home with Craig Watts

The four-star's recruitment is far from over.

Although he remains committed to Colorado, four-star safety Craig Watts says he’s still considering North Carolina – among others.

“I liked how much the coaches care about their players,” Watts said. “I'm still committed to CU but nothing is set in stone, yet.”

In September, Watts, a 6-foot, 180-pounder from St. Petersburg (Fla.) Admiral Farragut Academy, officially visited Colorado. Before concluding his stay, he pledged to the Buffaloes.

“The school and the facilities they have are great,” Watts said. “And they are offering early playing time.”

Also, it doesn’t hurt that Admiral Farragut Academy head coach, Ryan Hearn, has a rapport with Colorado defensive coordinator Jim Leavitt. The relationship stems from Leavitt’s 13-year tenure as South Florida’s head coach.

“Coach Leavitt is a great guy and a great coach,” Watts said. “I know that he’ll take care of me and make me into a pro [player].”

A month and a half after leaving Boulder, Watts officially visited UNC. 

“It was great,” Watts said. “I had a good visit. I love the coaching staff and the players there.”

The highlight of Watts’s stay? Spending time with Larry Fedora and defensive coordinator Gene Chizik.

On Thursday night, Watts will spend some more time with Chizik. This time, it will be in Watts’s home, which happens to be 25 miles away from Chizik’s hometown.

A day after UNC played in the ACC Championship Game, Watts and Chizik finalized the details for the aforementioned in-home visit. Additionally, Chizik repeated the pitch he delivered during Watts’s official visit.

“He was just telling me how they could use me and how I'm a very important piece to the defense,” Watts said.

From his strong safety position, Watts led Admiral Farragut Academy in tackles this season. In addition to his 46 tackles, he had an interception and forced a fumble.

Fedora’s pitch was much more grounded and focused more on off-the-field.

“He said that nothing was going to be giving to me,” Watts said. “And he said that I would be in one of the best academic institutions in America.”

Fellow Floridian Jordan Cunningham, a wide receiver who is sitting out the season to comply with transfer rules, served as Watts’s player host during his UNC visit.

“It was cool hanging with him,” Watts said. “He’s a real cool dude and he was just telling me about the school and how special it was.”

Much of Watts’s official visit itinerary surrounded UNC’s homecoming festivities, which included the Tar Heels 66-31 rout of archrival Duke that Saturday.

Watts plans to take his three remaining official visits before finalizing his collegiate plans. Nothing has been scheduled, but he’s looking to officially visit Indiana and Pittsburgh in January.


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