Only seven schools remain in the chase for Nate Watson, the rising senior forward announced on Tuesday – Wake Forest, N.C. State, Miami, Providence, Maryland, Kansas and North Carolina.
North Carolina is the only school on Watson’s list yet to offer a scholarship. It’s easy to read the Tar Heels’s inclusion on his list, without an offer, as a positive sign for Roy Williams.
“It’s just like if me or you were getting recruited by North Carolina and they were calling, it’s North Carolina, you have to entertain it, they’re a top five program in the country almost every year,” said Fred Howze, an assistant with Watson’s DC Premiere AAU team. “Plus I think he told you before that’s one of his dream schools, he likes them and he grew up watching North Carolina. I think he’s happy with the fact that they’re keeping open communication with him, but the fact they haven’t offered yet I think he’s kind of like ‘what’s going on?’
Watson and Howze believe an offer could be coming soon.
“I’m sure they’re going to make a decision on whether or not Nate is North Carolina caliber talent,” Howze said. “What (assistant coach) Hubert (Davis) told us is that Roy takes a little longer to offer which is expected and which we respect. When I talked to him (Davis) in May, I think he said they were gonna offer Nate in July, so it may come after this week.”
Just before Watson released his top seven, he spoke with Davis.
“Hubert Davis called me today and was just saying he’s going to be in Vegas,” said Watson]. “He said he loves watching me play and he talks to my mom all the time. Coach Roy talks to my mom too, the last time was about two weeks ago.”
Watson has set an unofficial date with UNC for Aug. 22.
“He’s going to be down there for his dad’s family reunion, then me and his mom are going to meet him on those dates for visits,” explained Howze. “He’ll take trips to N.C. State, Wake Forest and North Carolina on Aug. 22 and Aug. 23. He’s going to be down there anyway, so we are just going to knock out all the North Carolina schools on his list.”
Added Watson: “When I go on the visit, I really want to tour the campus and get a good feel for the school. I hope they offer me, they’re really recruiting me. Everyone on the list has offered, so I just put them up there because I think they might offer.”