Does Penn State Have the Edge?

The combines provide a great tool for college level prospects to display their talents on a local and national level, but often the top prospects don't participate thanks to their numerous early scholarship offers. However, some hungry players are looking to prove that they deserve the attention. Lansford Watson is one of those players -- he talks about his recent visit to Happy Valley and where the Lions stand.

Lansford Watson, a 6-foot-4, 220-pound wide receiver from Abraham Lincoln High in Brooklyn, N.Y. is anxious for the combine in Piscataway (4/23), so he can prove to everyone that he should be considered as one of the top players in the nation.

"I have been preparing myself everyday for the combine. I have been working out with my trainers at school, and I have been putting up some good times in my track meets," Watson said.

"I just want to go and show people that I am not only one of the best receivers, but one of the best players. I am also excited to represent my home state, I want to go out and show everyone that N.Y. football is strong."

Watson recently had the chance to take an unofficial visit to Penn State for their junior day event. The Nittany Lions have probably cemented themselves in Watson's top five after showing him an unbelievable time on campus.

Watson enjoyed fraternizing with the players, most notably Derrick Williams, but a talk with the great Joe Paterno may have been what impressed him the most.

"I had a long talk with Coach Paterno while I was there," Watson explained. "Coach Paterno is from Brooklyn, and as a matter of fact he grew up only a few blocks from where I live. I did not even know that until I sat down to talk to him. We had a lot of things to talk about, and it was just amazing to be talking to a hall of fame coach that knew so much about where I am from and what you go through to be a player from our area."

"They had some pretty nice facilities as well. I also got the chance to talk to some of the players, and they told me what it was like to be a member of the program. It was a good visit. The drive down the highway to the campus may have been kind of long, but it is not that bad."

Watson is one of the most highly recruited players in the nation, and he currently boasts an offer list that numbers in the high teens. Five schools have separated themselves from the pack and he broke down the positives he sees in each program.

Syracuse: "I am really interested in Syracuse. They are my home state school, so they will always be high on my list. Coach (Greg) Robinson has the program headed in the right direction."

Maryland: "Some schools are recruiting me as a tight end. Maryland has caught my attention because they are recruiting me to play the Vernon Davis role in their offense."

Rutgers: "I have to respect Rutgers a lot. Their coach told me that they want to compete at the highest level and use the local N.Y. and N.J. talent. He told me the other top programs like Southern Cal win with their hometown talent, so you have to respect that about them."

North Carolina: "I grew up watching them. I have always been a fan of their program. I also like their coach and how they are recruiting me. I think that North Carolina would be as far south as I would like to go."

Penn State: "I had a great time at the junior day, and I liked what I saw from their program. I think I could go in right away and make an impact, because I they do not have any players like me on their roster. I would be the biggest receiver there the instant I stepped on the practice field."

Watson may be concentrating on five programs, but it will be awhile before he makes a final decision.

"I think I will go through my visits and then decide sometime in December," Watson said. " I want to evaluate how some of these programs do during the season and see where they are all at after that."

As a junior, Watson reeled in 53 catches for more than 850 yards and scored 11 touchdowns.


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