The 6-foot-4, 330-pound athlete recently competed in the US Army All-American Combine earlier this month and after an impressive junior season, has been hearing from schools including Baylor and SMU. Watanabe plans to visit the latter next week, one of a few trips planned.
"I'm going to SMU next week for an unofficial. I'm going to the Baylor camp in March, which is in Waco. I'm going to an all Polynesian camp in Utah, and I'll camp at Colorado. Those are the only ones I have planned," he said.
Those two programs have been the primary schools looking at Watanabe early on, though other coaches who have been through the school have had an eye on the lineman, including Texas head coach Charlie Strong, who was recently at Brennan visiting Longhorn commit Derick Roberson.
However, Watanabe feels that the Mustangs could be his first offer.
"SMU has been pretty recent; their coaches wanted to talk to me next week. I think my first offer will be from SMU. But Baylor has been showing me interest since last year. I've been close with Coach [Chris] Achuff, because he was recruiting Grant, so I've known him for a while," he said.
Watanabe says he also hopes to hear more from Texas Tech.
Aside from beginning the recruiting and visit process, Watanabe is focusing on preparing for his final year of high school football.
"I've just getting ready for next season, training. We started our offseason, like actual lifting and running. It's been going well. We are just trying to find replacements for our seniors," he said.