Big-Time Wideout Likes Heels

North Carolina continues to feel the ripple effects of quarterback Mike Paulus' verbal commitment, as yet another blue chip wide receiver is eyeing the Tar Heels – Lansford Watson.

"It helps, it helps a lot," Watson said of Paulus' commitment. "I know they have a quarterback that can throw. He told me he wants me to come down to North Carolina with him."

Brooklyn (N.Y.) Lincoln head football coach Shaun O'Connor said, "[Lansford] was excited to hear that the Paulus kid committed to them. Of course it helps [UNC]. Being a receiver you always want to go to a place that has a good quarterback, but I'm sure a lot of schools have good quarterbacks."

Paulus' pledge isn't the only factor working in North Carolina's favor.

"I would say they are definitely recruiting him the hardest right now," O'Connor said of the Tar Heels' staff. "He mentioned that he saw them on TV a few times, and he liked what he saw. His position coach, Coach [Dave] Brock, is from New York, he used to coach there. So we have a little relationship here with him."

However, the big question mark is how Watson feels while in Chapel Hill.

"The whole thing is going to come down to how comfortable does he feel with the place," said O'Connor. "So it's going to be important for him to see North Carolina, meet the staff and see what's down there.

"North Carolina is one of the places where he definitely feels comfortable with, already. If you're going to take 10-11-hour drive, you definitely have to feel comfortable [with a school]. His connection with Coach Brock definitely helps that."

Although nothing concrete has been set, Watson plans to unofficially visit North Carolina over the summer. "I'm not sure [when] yet," Watson said.

At 6-foot-4 and 215 pounds, Watson is a very physical, but yet athletic receiver, who his coach said bares resemblance to the San Francisco 49ers' first round draft choice – Vernon Davis.

"He reminds us of that tight end from Maryland in a lot of ways," said O'Connor. "He's big, he's physical, and very athletic. He's got very good hands – big hands, he runs good routes, and he's very good at catching the ball away from his body. He's very fundamentally sound as a receiver. He's not afraid to mix it up."

During his junior season at Brooklyn (N.Y.) Lincoln, Watson caught 53 passes for more than 850 yards and scored 11 touchdowns. He was named to the all-city team for his accomplishments.

In addition to the Tar Heels, Watson sports scholarship offers from Florida, Florida State, Iowa, Maryland, Miami, Michigan State, Penn State, Pittsburgh, Purdue, Rutgers, Syracuse, and West Virginia. Approximately half of his offers are a result of his Elite College Combine performance, which earned him combine MVP.

When asked who makes up his current list, Watson said, "There are a lot, like North Carolina, Maryland, Syracuse, schools like that. ACC schools and Big East schools."

He will narrow his list of options down to five schools by the end of June, according to O'Connor, with North Carolina likely to make the cut.

Lansford Watson Profile


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