Wanting to honor his mom by committing to the university of his choice on her birthday, St. Petersburg (FL) Admiral Farragut Academy safety Craig Watts says he’s excited to announce his choice on July 14.
In the next month, however, he recognizes that he has a lot of work to do.
Having already cut his list of roughly 40 offers down to 11, Watts will spend the next month visiting a handful of those finalists, including the University of Wisconsin.
“I’m visiting Madison next weekend,” Watts told BadgerNation. “I am anxious to see the campus life, the facilities, meet the whole coaching staff and just the whole program.”
“(Coach Aranda and I) talk every week right now,” said Watts. “I have been talking to Coach Jones, the DB coach. He’s a real cool guy. We’ve been talking almost daily now. I think the coaching staff and I have a good relationship right now.”
Wisconsin has made Watts one of its top targets in 2016 because he feels an immediate need. The Badgers will graduate at least seven defensive backs following the 2015 season, including both projected starting safeties. With his familiarity with the 3-4 defense, Watts – rated a four-star prospect and the No.22 safety in the country by Scout.com - could see substantial playing time right away.
“I play in the 3-4 right now, and I’ve always play in that style,” said Watts. “I like it. Coach Aranda wants me to play strong safety and he wants me to start early. That’s important to me. I want to help the team win.”
In addition to playing early, Watts said Wisconsin’s education and football tradition is appealing, not to mention his relationship with the coaches.
“I want to trust the coaching staff,” said Watts. “My biggest strength is in the run game. I like to hit a lot … I think I could help (Wisconsin).”
Having already visited Alabama and Florida State, Watts will visit Colorado on June 27 and is hoping to visit Indiana, Ohio State and Penn State but has not scheduled the other trips. He’s also considering Michigan, Notre Dame, North Carolina and South Florida.
He does not plan to make another cut to his list before deciding.