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Wednesday, May 29, 2013
It's close to the vest for ESPN 150 CB

By Damon Sayles

DALLAS -- Forget the riddles of the Sphinx. Try cracking the riddles of the Nick Watkins (Dallas/Bishop Dunne).

When it comes to deciphering where the ESPN 150 cornerback plays college football, one old adage comes to mind. As nice and media-friendly as Watkins is, he is the riddle wrapped up in an enigma when it comes to recruiting.

And Watkins’ ability to keep most in the dark about his process is not an accident.

“That’s kind of the idea,” Watkins said. “I don’t really like people knowing what I am and am not doing. I’d rather them say, ‘What is he going to do?’”

Only a handful of people -- many not being close friends – have an idea of where Watkins, the nation’s No. 9 cornerback, is leaning. The 6-foot-1, 180-pound, four-star player has more than 30 offers, and if you ask him, all 30 schools still are in the hunt.

For fans of those schools, the silence can be somewhat frustrating. For Watkins, the inkling of privacy in a very-public recruiting process -- one that tends to be skewed with the help of social media rumors -- is more than welcomed.

“I hear what some people say,” Watkins said. “Right now, I have no favorites. I’m just taking everything slow and relying on my research and the places I have gone. I’m just taking it real slow.”

Ranked No. 63 in the ESPN 150, Watkins has offers from the best of the best. Among the schools interested are Alabama, LSU, Michigan, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oregon, Stanford, Texas A&M and USC. And then, there’s all of the Big 12 interest. He’ll have this pick of the litter.

Wherever he ends up, Watkins will continue a strong football legacy. His father is Bobby Watkins Sr., who played cornerback at Texas State (then Southwest Texas State) and went on to play professionally with the Detroit Lions. His older brother, Bobby Jr., is a cornerback at Central Arkansas. All three cut their teeth in high school at Bishop Dunne.

While Nick Watkins does his best to not tip his hand, he has admitted that three summer trips he’d like to make are to Stanford, Ole Miss and Alabama. He might also take in Michigan, as he has family in the Detroit area.

Wherever he ends up, when he makes his decision on Jan. 27, the winning school will have to meet several criteria.

And what does he want in a program?

“Great coaches and a great environment,” he said. “I want a place where I can come in and contribute and not just be a freshman or sophomore on special teams. I want to contribute on defense, and I want to be somewhere where I fit in.”

For now, however, all of Watkins’ focus is on getting better, making his team better and winning a state championship.

Everything else is a mystery.