Jordan Watkins: Two dozen and counting

Jordan Watkins from Atlanta's Woodward Academy says he's up to 26 Division 1 scholarship offers. The 6-5, 255, defensive lineman also has a passion for the hardwood which has kept him from taking in any Junior Day visits, thus far.

"We're starting up the state playoffs on Saturday," said Jordan Watkins. "We've done pretty well this year. I just found out we're No. 2 in our region. Hopefully when the season is over, I can still make it to some places."

As a junior, Watkins was named 2nd team All-State in Georgia's AAA classification. He's seen his stock go through the roof with initial offers coming from South Carolina and Arkansas on the same day. Recently, the Atlanta Journal Constitution named Watkins as one of the Top 10 players in the state for next season.

"First let me say that being recruited by SEC, ACC, Big Ten, and Big 12 teams is a huge honor," Watkins said. "I'm not really looking at playing in a particular conference, but want a school with good academics. I want to go into Broadcasting, so I'm looking at schools with good Communications programs.

"I'd like to go to a team that's been doing well and has the ability to continue to doing well in the coming years. Usually, those teams have high caliber coaching staffs. Also, I want to be in a community that's very supportive of the team and university."

Watkins did make it to some games this past season. Columbia, S.C., Atlanta, GA (Georgia Tech), and Knoxville, Tenn. were among his visits. He came away impressed with what he saw with the upstart Vols.

"I really like Tennessee a lot," Watkins said. "I grew up watching their games. When I went to see them play Alabama they weren't having the greatest year, but the fan support was still there. Neyland Stadium was loud, and everybody was covered in Orange. Seeing all the fans lined up outside the stadium was a great sight. I liked the enthusiasm of the coaching staff. I had a great time when I was there."

With 26 offers and counting Watkins is in no rush to make a commitment. When he does make the decision there's one person, in particular, who he wants to be close by.

"My goal is to make one of the All-American games so I can announce my choice on television," Watkins said. "It would gave me a chance to say ‘thank you' to my defensive line coach, Matt Brennan, who has been coaching me since 7th grade. He always told me to never stop believing in myself and work hard to realize the potential he saw in me at a young age.

"We talked about what colleges to try and visit this spring. Right now, I'm open. Eventually I'll trim my list to five or three, but that will be down the road closer to signing day."

This past season the Woodward Academy War Eagles went 10-2 making it to the 2nd round of the AAA playoffs. Watkins made 61 tackles, 13 tackles for a loss, and six sacks.

"I did better this year than my sophomore year because my confidence was higher," Watkins said. "With the hard work and conditioning I put in during the off-season, along with the skills I possess, helped me with my assurance in decision making. I did a better job reading blocks. I did a better at using my hands and my footwork work was quicker. My No. 1 priority in the off-season is getting stronger and increasing my speed. I'm trying to get under 5 in the 40."

Watkins is No. 75 for the War Eagles of Woodward Academy. He reports a 3.7 GPA. His cousin is five-time Pro Bowl wide receiver Andre Johnson of the Houston Texans.

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