Committed Over: St. Petersburg (FL) Admiral Farragut Academy safety Craig Watts committed to Wisconsin over three dozen other offers, including Alabama, Florida, Florida State, Miami, Michigan, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Ole Miss and Penn State.
Rated: Watts is currently a four-star prospect and rated the No.3 safety in Florida, No.8 in the South and No.22 in the county by Scout.com.
On Film: Watts is a well-rounded safety who does well in both the run and the pass. He’s probably better right now supporting the run, coming up in the box and making tackles. The thing with him that I like a lot from watching film and seeing him play is the majority of the time he wraps up well on defense. He’s got good instinct and anticipation. He’s a legit four-star recruit and likely a strong safety. He needs to definitely improve his coverage skills, but he is a big time talent who plays with his heart on his sleeve. He gets jacked up when he plays, high fiving his teammates and gets real animated. He really loves the game of football and really does it all on film. He’ll do a little bit of everything and will probably play sooner rather than later. – Florida Recruiting Analyst Corey Bender
Recruiting Impact: HUGE. Wisconsin has had tremendous success recruiting the state of Florida over the last 10 years but never landed a four-star prospect until Saturday (Scout’s rankings go back to 2002, and it’s doubtful one came before that). The Badgers wanted to sign two safety prospects in the 2016 class and have them both in Watts and Pickerington (OH) Central senior Seth Currens.But are they truly done? I am not 100 percent convinced. Three star Eric Burrell (Owings Mills (MD) McDonagh School) has said he wants to take an official to Wisconsin this fall … but he’s also said the recruiting process is wearing on him. Kissimmee (FL) Osceola three-star safety Carlos Becker put the Badgers in his top 10 last week, Minneapolis North’s Tyler Johnson told me this week the coaches invited him to a game this fall and Gibsonton (FL) East Bay’s K.J. Sails is in the process of setting up a visit. Depending on the player, it would be hard for Wisconsin to turn one of them down.
Quotable: “The town there, all the people there, the coaches there, the whole thing was just perfect for me. It’s exactly what I wanted. I loved it all.” - Watts
Final Thought: Wait, I thought Paul Chryst and his staff couldn’t recruit? Saturday is a great lesson of why people shouldn’t get their undies in a bunch about a recruiting class until a couple weeks before national signing day … not a couple of months. Watts, who is used to the 3-4 defense, told me he was looking to go to a school with coaches he could trust and a chance to play early. He’ll get both of those next year at Wisconsin with the Badgers graduating both projected starting safeties.