Rebs scout Sunshine LB

One of the top linebacker prospects in the state of Florida is looking to improve on his 110 tackle, 12 sacks, and 2 forced fumbles he had last season at another position.

"I am working on my coverages right now," added Eric Watts. I am moving to safety. I am working on my footwork. I want to have DB speed with LB ability."

One of Eric's main strengths should help him in this area.

"My biggest strength is my ability to read defenses. I can read defenses really well."

The 6' 0", 205 pound Samuel W. Wolfson (Class 4A) product has been starting at his high school since the first game of his freshman season.

That was one of my biggest goals when I got here. I wanted to start every game and never miss a game. So far, so good."

The Jacksonville (FL) native had this to say about his game.

"I am an aggressive but laid back player. I can be very aggressive when I need to be, but I can be patient when I need to."

Spring practice starts on May 1st, but a few colleges have already sent over their recruiters to his school.

"This week I spoke to Ole Miss, South Florida, and Illinois. Illinois actually gave me a verbal offer. All three of those colleges came by my school this week to talk to me. Florida and FSU said they liked me but they need to see a little more before they offer. They said an offer is coming and do not commit to anyone until they do."

Any phone calls?

"I got a call from Illinois but I got a lot of the coach's numbers that I keep in contact with. They come to the school and leave their number and tell me to call them so they do not waste their one phone call yet."

Which colleges does Eric call on his own?

"I call Ole Miss, South Florida, Florida State, and Illinois mostly."

What does Eric know about Ole Miss?

"So far, I know their defense is pretty good. I have been studying their defensive schemes and they let their LB's make the plays. It is really geared towards their LB's. They make a lot of plays. It is not just an offensive school. It has a great history of athletes receiving their degrees. They just do not get there and drop out. I looked that up on the NCAA website. I also saw where their athletes receive a lot of individual help for each one of their classes."

Which coach has Watts been speaking to from Ole Miss?

"Coach Chris Vaughn. He is really easy to talk to. We started off on the right foot. He really likes me, and I like him too. When he saw my film, he saw me playing LB. He told me that he needs to see me play some safety before he takes it to his defensive coordinator to get approval for a scholarship offer."

Eric talks about his relationship with South Florida

"When I spoke to Coach Douglas, he said they liked me and liked my style of play. He said I would fit in well with their school and he told me to keep in contact with him because they really want me."

And Illinois?

"I have a very strong relationship with them. A lot of people from Jacksonville go to their school. Coach Dan Fish, my recruiting coordinator, is from this area. He said that they really look forward to me playing OLB for them. He said the way I am playing, I will play as a freshman up there. I will not be redshirting or anything like that if I go to school there."

There just happens to be an instate school that holds the lead for Eric.

"FSU is my number one team. I like their scheme. Coaches Mickey Andrew and Jimbo Fisher, I grew up watching them. That was my childhood dream to play for FSU. They are my number one choice."

Watts is also receiving heavy consideration from several more colleges.

"Clemson, Purdue, and West Virginia also came by the school to eye ball me. I also receive around 50 letters a day, but I take that with a grain of salt because I know everyone else does too. I am really concentrating on the schools who have offered me or are getting close. But I get a lot of letters from Auburn, Arizona State, Indiana, Cinci, Louisville, UConn, Duke is really interested in me. Arkansas, Georgia Tech, Mississippi State, and Iowa. I get a lot of letters from all of those schools."

Has Eric made any decisions on the camps he will be attending?

"I am pretty sure I am going to Florida's and FSU's camps. I am looking forward to going to some camps that are real far from home, like Illinois', Ole Miss, and Iowa's."

When it does come decision time; what will be the main factors?

"First of all, the distance from home. I do not to go too far from home. And the temperature, I do not want to go where it is freezing. I will look at the graduation rate and what type of Business Management program they have. Those will be the biggest factors for me."

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