Nick Watkins is one of the premier defensive backs in the 2014 class, and he’s finally made a choice on where he will be playing college football.
The standout cornerback will be the newest member of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, as reported by Steve Wiltfong of 247Sports:
Dallas (Texas) Bishop Dunne four-star cornerback Nick Watkins is the latest member of the Notre Dame recruiting class, giving his pledge to his recruiter, Irish assistant coach Kerry Cooks on Thursday. He went public with his decision on Friday afternoon after a conversation with head coach Brian Kelly and assistant Bob Diaco.
"The thing is, I've been knowing Nick since he was in the eighth grade," Bishop Dunne Catholic head coach Marcus Johnson said. "Being around the coaching staff, especially Coach Cooks, it was the right fit for Nick, plus the school and environment, being one of the best business schools in the country, those all played into his decision making."
At 6’1”, 180 lbs., it is easy to see why Brian Kelly is thrilled to have a commitment from this young man. He has the prototypical size to play cornerback and should have no problem matching up with the tall and athletic receivers dominating today’s game.
247 Sports’ composite rankings grades this Bishop Dunne Catholic product as a 4-star prospect and has him listed as the No. 113 overall player in the entire nation. Watkins comes in at No. 11 at his position, and it is clear that the Irish just bolstered their secondary with an elite talent.
The athletic youngster out of Dallas possesses blazing speed, fluid hips and well above-average hands—likely from playing wide receiver on offense during his high school career.
Watkins needs to continue to improve upon his ability to tackle, but many of these lanky young defensive backs suffer from the same problem. He more than makes up for it with his coverage abilities and decision-making, plus he has an uncanny knack for coming down with jump balls.
The Irish can consider themselves fortunate to have earned a commitment from the speedster, as a number of historically prominent programs were gunning to add him to their recruiting class.
Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, LSU, Michigan, Oklahoma, Texas and Texas A&M were just a few of the many prestigious schools around the nation that wanted to bring Watkins in.
Notre Dame fans can count their blessings, as they are in the coveted position of being able to keep tabs on this prospect's development and will likely get to see him star at Notre Dame Stadium sooner than later.
Watkins has a bright future, and the sky is the limit for this young man during his tenure in South Bend. We expect to see him make an impact early in his career and potentially become a legitimate NFL draft prospect down the line.