UNC Ramping Up Interest in Nate Watson

Virginia rising senior establishing himself as a rugged low post competitor.

North Carolina’s recruitment of Nate Watson is ramping up.

Only four days after watching the class of 2017 forward put up 26 points, 11 rebounds and three blocks in the opening night of April’s first evaluation period, UNC traveled to Arlington (Va.) Bishop O’Connell to visit with Watson.

What assistant coach Hubert Davis saw on Tuesday – and what Roy Williams and assistant coach C.B. McGrath saw this past Friday – was an athletic, strong forward who knows his role.

“When you first look at him, you can’t help but notice his strong frame,” said Torrey Farrington, head coach of Watson’s DC Premier AAU team. “He’s very mobile and he can run the floor. He’s been a good rebounder, but watching him play from afar over the last year; every time I see him he has a better shooting touch.”

Along with 2018 point guard Prentiss Hubb, Watson led DC Premier to a 3-1 record in the first session of the Under Armour Association.

“I was hitting everything and the guards were finding me and I just scored the ball, blocked shots and everything,” said the 6-8 Watson. “I post up really hard, I’m physical, I rebound well and I’m not going to let anyone get a shot up. I play with a high motor and I give a lot of effort.”

During Tuesday’s visit, Davis told Watson that Roy Williams plans to watch him during this weekend’s evaluation period in Indianapolis.

“Virginia Tech, Providence and Maryland have been talking to me the most,” said Watson. “I just got offers from Wake Forest and Miami last night. Now that UNC is looking at me I feel really good. I really like UNC.”

If North Carolina continues to show strong interest in Watson and offers the rising senior a scholarship, it’d have an immediate impact on his recruitment.

“I love (their) colors, first of all,” he said. “I like how Carolina is kind of close to home. I love that Michael Jordan went there and they have a good team. I just like how they play, how they give their big men the ball. (If they offered) they would definitely be in my top five. And I would definitely want to take an official visit there.”

The potential fit at North Carolina, according to Farrington, would be a good one.

“A lot of these guys want to be stretch 4s, but it’s good to see someone take an interest in being a true power forward like Nate,” he said. “He is made for the low post and made for being a frontcourt player. At Carolina, he’d be another athletic big body. They’ve done a good job of bringing in guys like Kennedy Meeks and Isaiah Hicks. He kind of has the girth of Meeks, but is more athletic, but not as long as Hicks.”

Farrington believes Watson will continue to improve during the summer and become a major contributor at the college level.

“He’s really just now scratching the surface of what he can be,” explained Farrington. “The weekend he just had in New York I think woke up a lot of people to how special he really is and can be.”

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