Recruit to watch: DL Ryan Watson

Ryan Watson, 6'4, 280 lbs, is a stud defensive line prospect out of powerhouse John Curtis High School in River Ridge, Louisiana. The Bayou State star has definite plans to leave his home state and the Trojans are in the mix.

Playing for a potential state championship team, Watson manages to stand out on a squad loaded with Division 1 talent. He has the ability to dominate the line of scrimmage from his defensive tackle position with a great combination of talents, "I can play inside or outside the ball," he said. "If someone really tries to come off the ball harder than me, I think I can manipulate them and beat them outside or beat them straight off the ball. I'm very versatile."

As a junior, Watson picked up 16 sacks and he's already off to a fast start this year, as he explained, "We've had 3 games so far. We're 3-0. I have about 5, maybe 6 sacks so far, and 10 or 11 tackles." He's equally impressive in the weight room with a max of 415 pounds on bench, 600 pounds on squat, and 315 pounds on power cleans. He also runs a 4.8 forty, but actually has a personal best of 4.7, "My best is 4.7, but since I've put on some weight, I'm probably slowing down. I ran that last year."

"I'm looking at Southern Cal, Georgia Tech, Colorado, and Florida," Watson said. When asked for any leaders out of that group, Watson noted that USC and Georgia Tech stand above the other two at the moment. All four of his favorites have offered and he plans on scheduling official visits to each of them. "I want to play early, but I'm not expecting to play early my first year, but I want to play somewhat early. I'm also looking at the environment and how everyone gets along there." Watson plans on majoring in business management or real estate in college.

One interesting tidbit is the fact that Watson seems intent on leaving Louisiana. In response to a question regarding any issues he might have of moving far from home, Watson replied , "That's not an issue at all." What makes this even more surprising is the fact that three of Watson's teammates have already committed to in-state LSU. So, do they ever try to get him to look at the Tigers? "Sometimes they try and persuade you, but I'm saying that's not going to happen because that's not where I want to be."

In discussing his interest in USC, Watson is particularly impressed by the team's performance this season and Coach Ed Orgeron, who hails from the same state as Watson, "Shoot, they're big time football," he said. "They play hard. I really like the way they play. I saw the game against Colorado and I saw the one against Auburn. I paid attention to the defensive line. Their D-linemen are big and fast and they play their blocks. That's had a positive impact. Also, Coach Orgeron, he's a good man. He tells me how it is. He doesn't tell me any fluff or anything, that's why I like him." Watson also added that he'll be watching the Trojans take on Kansas State this Saturday.

Although three teammates of Watson have already ended their recruiting process, there is another uncommitted John Curtis stand-out who the Trojans are pursuing in defensive lineman Carnell Stewart, and as Watson noted, the interest is mutual, "Yeah, he likes Southern Cal. We actually watched the game together.  He likes SC and Colorado, because his cousin [Kordell Stewart] played for Colorado. He's interested." You can be sure to hear more on Watson and Stewart in the future.

Watson and John Curtis take on St. Augustine this Friday.


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