Though we can't evaluate the likelihood of him staying independent of Fitz's decision, Watkins still marks an important loss to this class. He originally committed to the Wildcats in May, part of what was then a banner recruiting class for this program.
But first, there were the on-field issues. Then, there was his decision to attend a Wisconsin game with 2015 recruit LaCario Davison. Some combination led to the call from Fitzgerald, who could no longer accept Watkins as part of his class.
This decision is partially offset by the recent addition of Rutgers transfer Miles Shuler, who should add depth to the receiving corps. Now, with an extra available scholarship, Northwestern can pursue its top two targets at areas of need.
The Wildcats feel confident they can land Parrker Westphal and Garrett Dickerson — two "program-turning" talents. They need to fill scholarship on the defensive side of the ball, continuing their recent string of success.
This, however, signifies a recruiting bombshell. One of Northwestern's best commits will attend another school, and regardless of the situation, this is simply more bad news for the program.