- Jared Shanker, ESPN Staff Writer
With time running out, Penn State was not going to hang around any longer.
Galion (Ohio) High School athlete Dareian Watkins is set to make his decision sometime in May, and Penn State was the only finalist yet to offer the 6-foot-1, 195-pound prospect. Unwilling to wait any longer to offer Watkins on campus, Nittany Lions coach Bill O’Brien offered Thursday.
“Coach O’Brien at Penn State decided to offer Dariean tonight over the phone rather than waiting on his visit,” Watkins’ father, Heath, wrote in a text message.
Watkins originally aimed for a commitment on or around May 1, but that will not be the case anymore. A decision is still likely to come in May, however.
Michigan State will host Watkins for two days beginning Apr. 19, and he will visit Wisconsin, which recently moved into Watkins’ top group, May 11. A visit to Penn State is in the works but no date has been set.
On the way back from Madison, Watkins will stop by Northwestern. The Wildcats are in solid position for Watkins, and the family told Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald it will swing by one last time before making a decision.
“Coach Fitz has created the type of situation that all parents love,” Heath wrote.
Michigan State, Northwestern, Penn State and Wisconsin are joined by Illinois and Indiana in Watkins’ final group, although there is quite a deal of separation between those four and the Illini and Hoosiers. Watkins will likely commit to one of those four schools.