Breaking Down the Board: Nick Watkins
Alabama, Notre Dame, Ole Miss, Oregon and UCLA. However, his list still stands longer than those five. Watkins is also considering Baylor, Oklahoma and SMU. The good news for the Irish is that in-state powerhouse Texas is no longer in contention to land the four-star defensive back. The only school Watkins visited this summer was to Alabama, though it is my feeling that Notre Dame and UCLA are the top two in his mind entering the 2013 season. The player: From Scout.com Midlands analyst Greg Powers -- Watkins played both ways in 2012 at receiver and corner, but is being recruited as a defensive back. He has the look of a free safety with a long, lean frame, but should be considered as more of a coverage corner. He has elite top-end track speed. He is able to drop quickly and covers a lot of ground. He shows tremendous concentration while the ball is up for grabs and his prowess on offense shows he has great hands. A nice package. The situation: Watkins will likely not decide until after this season, with most of his official visits coming later in the fall. Do not expect this one to drag out until signing day though, and Watkins has said if something feels right during a visit, he won't be shy about committing on the spot. Watkins and his family are emphasizing the importance of academics in his decision, specifically a business school, so Notre Dame easily passes all hurdles in that category. Watkins visited Notre Dame in the spring, and he admittedly came close to committing. His family has yet to see South Bend, so the next time he visits, if all goes well with his parents being present, Notre Dame could even more so establish itself in the driver's seat. The Irish offered his teammate, safety Payton Hendrix, this summer. Hendrix and Watkins could potentially take their official visits together, and the Irish are pushing for the two to visit during the biggest recruiting weekend of the year, Oct. 19 against USC. Notre Dame wants to add at least one cornerback in the 2014 class, and Watkins is the top prospect on the board. Ultimately, Watkins' natural fit in Notre Dame's atmosphere, his long-established relationship with the coaching staff (specifically cornerbacks coach Kerry Cooks), the Irish's academic reputation and religious affiliation give Notre Dame the edge to land Watkins.
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