”Coach Smith offered me,” Watts said. “I talked to the defensive line coach also. When he offered me, it was just real exciting. They were talking about how they didn’t really think I could run the ball with my size. But they liked how I get off the ball and play defensive end and everything. How quick I get off the ball basically. I started talking to them a week before they offered me.”
It’s very early for Watts, and many more offers are likely to come his way. That said, Syracuse has made an impression thus far.
”I really like them,” Watts said. “They’re ACC so that’s really big. That’s a higher level of football than the MAC schools that I have. I like how active the coaches are when they’re on the phone. I can feel the energy from the coaches. It’s nice to know that somebody wants to offer you a scholarship to their school.”
The only thing left at this point for Watts is to get a better look at the Orange program. That means seeing things in person.
”On a scale of one through ten, I would say a nine,” Watts said. “Just because I haven’t been down there yet. I couldn’t really tell how it is or how it feels because I haven’t visited yet. So that’s the only part missing. Other than that, I really feel like it’s a great school. I wouldn’t mind going there to play football.”
A visit hasn’t been scheduled yet, but he is hoping to do so soon. Specifically, during the week of March 21st through the 26th, when he has some time off.
”I’m going to try to visit a lot of schools over spring break and the summer time,” Watts said. “Here in Chicago it’s cold right now. I’m kind of waiting for the weather to get better and over spring break and the summer it should be.
”When I visit Syracuse, I want to see how the teammates feel about each other and build chemistry. I think that will probably be a step I have a look at. How the chemistry is with the team and with each other.”
Another factor in Syracuse’s favor is taking a look at the number of players from his state already on the roster.
”It helps a lot,” Watts said. “That plays a big role too. To have somebody to relate to, that’s what you would want. From Chicago all the way to Syracuse, that’s a big step.”
Watts actually knows someone on the Syracuse roster in guard Aaron Roberts. The two played together for a couple of seasons before Watts transferred to Phillips Academy. He plans to reach out to Roberts to get some more information on Syracuse and hopes to speak with him during a visit.