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Insider

2014 CB pops up on Michigan radar

9/25/2012

St. Mary's Prep is coming off of a state championship season, so it's no surprise that the team is having another good season. It was somewhat surprising, though, that the Orchard Lake school defeated a nationally ranked Detroit Cass Tech team 13-6 on Friday.

A big part of the win for St. Mary's was the defense, which is led by 2014 defensive back Jalen Watts-Jackson.

"We just had a real hard week of practice, and we were real focused," he said. "It was crazy. A lot of people weren't expecting us to win that game. Our defense only has four players that played defense last year, so we did well."

Watts-Jackson knows some of the Cass Tech players from Pee Wee football and through camps. He even spoke with Cass Tech quarterback Jayru Campbell before the game. Some fun-spirited trash-talking, if you will.

The 6-foot, 173-pound corner performed well in his team's win and is already starting to hear from some big programs. Watts-Jackson doesn't yet have offers, but the communication is starting to build.

"Recently, I got a letter from Michigan State. The only schools showing interest right now are Michigan, Purdue and Michigan State," he said. "I hope I hear more from Michigan, that's my top school. I'm a big Michigan fan."

Watts-Jackson said he hasn't spoken with the coaching staff, but he was invited to Michigan's camp during the summer. He didn't attend but plans on getting in touch with the staff in the near future.

"I would like to go see a game this year," he said. "Michigan State invited me to a game this year, so I'll try to get to a few."

Watts-Jackson has the size that Michigan coaches are looking for in a corner, and he believes some of his strengths are play recognition and being able to read the offense. He has the athletic ability to play a few different positions, but most schools are focusing on the defensive side.

"They're saying defensive back, but I haven't gotten too specific with it," he said. "Because of my size I might say cornerback. I'm just going to wait and try to go through the process and see where coaches want me."