Toms River (N.J.) North athlete Bryce Watts always saw himself at Rutgers, but it was a visit elsewhere that made him ready for a commitment.
Watts unofficially visited another one of his top schools – Syracuse – Saturday and did not feel the same affinity that he did toward the home-state school.
“Rutgers has always had my heart,” said Watts, who describes himself as a life-long Rutgers fan. “I went on my visit to Syracuse and it just didn’t feel as right. They showed me a lot of awesome stuff, but it wasn’t Rutgers with the new team that coach [Chris] Ash is putting together. It’s perfect for me.”
Watts informed Ash, and the rest of the Rutgers coaches, of his commitment Sunday.
“They were happy that I committed and [Ash] told me it was the best decision I would make in my life and I’m going to enjoy it.” Watts said. “I’m ready to start the next chapter with my family at Rutgers. I can’t wait to go up there on [April 16]. I called all of the coaches and they were really excited.”
Watts’ family graduated from Rutgers in the late 90s, and he gave them an excellent Easter present when he continued the tradition with a verbal commitment.
“That meant everything to me,” Watts said. “It’s hard to explain. My family, my mom was really excited. Dad is excited. I have so many family ties going there and committing and continuing the family legacy is perfect.
“… Rutgers is my love. From when I was small, I always looked up to Rutgers. I used to go to the games. It’s hard to explain. Now that I get to actually be a part of that, it’s a blessing.”
Watts knows the rich history of Rutgers when it comes to defensive backs.
Watts, although he is also open to wide receiver, wants to be next.
“My dream is to go to the NFL and going to Rutgers will put me on that pedestal in the Big Ten,” Watts said. “It’s exciting. It’s the best conference in the NCAA. I’m going to play Michigan, Ohio State, big powerhouse teams.”
Watts is the second commitment and second defensive back in the Rutgers 2017 recruiting class. He joins Erial (N.J.) Timber Creek’s Naijee Jones.