Diaheem Watkins has officials set

Diaheem Watkins was the centerpiece on defense for a Bibb County team that only allowed opponents 8.5 points per game and pitched six shutouts. Watkins was named 4A 1st team All-State and 4A Defensive Lineman of the Year in 2010. Now he's getting down to business in picking a college to attend.

"I recently took an official visit to Troy," Diaheem Watkins said. "It went well. I got to watch them practice for the New Orleans Bowl, which they ended up winning. Troy's a nice town. It's small like where I'm from."

Watkins, 6-4, 245, has his January weekends pretty filled up with travel dates to prospective universities.

"I'm going to UAB on the 9th, Arkansas State on the 16th, Louisiana Tech on the 23rd, and my last visit will be at South Alabama on the 30th."

National Signing Day is the first Wednesday in February, but Watkins may not wait that long to make his decision.

"If I visit and fall in love with it, I may just commit right there," said Watkins. "So I can't really tell you a decision date. I'm looking at a place where I'd be comfortable in the defense they run. Also, playing time is important. I don't want to sit down. I'd like to go to a school with good academics. USA, UAB, and Troy all have good academic reputations. I'm not sure yet on a major. I'd like to do something in business."

Watkins became a football player as a sophomore. He earned a starting job four games in. As a junior Bibb County switched from a 4-3 defense to a 3-4. In his final go round with the Choctaws, Watkins came into his own on the field.

"I did all the little things better this year," said Watkins of his senior season. "With the experience I knew more on what to look for on the play. I made some key tackles for us and was a leader on the field."

The Choctaws went 12-2 on the season losing in the semi-finals to eventual 4A state champion, Thomasville.

"We had a lot of success during my time at Bibb County," said Watkins. "I'm going to miss being in the locker room with my friends after winning a game. It was a good time."

With schoolwork and taking in campuses, Watkins plans on going strong as he gets himself in shape for the college game.

"When we get back I'm going to get in the weight room and work," said Watkins. "I want to put on some more pounds and get my speed up. I've been hearing from everyone about how fast the pace of the game is going to be, so I want to do what I can from here on out to get faster."

Watkins says everything is good as far as grades and ACT score to graduate in May and qualify with the NCAA. He just needs to pick a college, and he's ready to go next summer.

"I'm going to go in and learn," said Watkins. "I want to keep a good balance with my class work and football. When it comes to football, I just want to go out there and prove I can play. I may not be the fastest guy on the field, but I have a quick get-off and think I can beat anybody in those five yards to make a play."

Bibb County High School is in Centreville, Ala. The team's 12 wins this season was the most in the school's history. Watkins wore No. 46 for the Purple and Gold.

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