Are the Buckeyes Close to Offering Dareian Watkins?
By Michael Chung
If there is one area that has been a weakness for Urban Meyer in his recruiting since he became the head football coach at Ohio State, it might be hesitancy to hand out early offers to some high-profile recruits in the state of Ohio.
Currently, Mike McCray of Trotwood-Madison and Gareon Conley of Massillon Washington are committed to Michigan, although he prospects of flipping Conley are starting to look quite promising.
Meyer and his staff would rather not depend on flipping a recruit just before National Signing Day, however, and offering early might ensure prevent Ohio State from engaging in this conflict.
It’s too late to go back and change things with McCray or Conley, but 2014 Ohio prospect Dareian Watkins may fall into this same category. It seems that each week the Galion, Ohio, athlete is receiving a significant offer from a major university, but he has yet to get one from the Buckeyes.
Is time already ticking? He recently visited Ohio State for a practice and allowed The-Ozone a chance to catch-up with him. Darien was already interviewed by The-Ozone once before and was gracious enough to do a follow-up interview updating his recruiting and where he stands with Ohio State.
You can read his first Ozone interview here and also follow me on Twitter @MChungOzone.
Ozone: Tell us about your visit to Ohio State? What did you do? Who did you talk to?
Watkins: My OSU visit was great. During practice we watched the Buckeyes with Mark Pantoni and Greg Gillum. After practice we met with Coach (Tim) Hinton, Coach (Zach) Smith and spoke with Braxton Miller. Then we went to coach Hinton's office and talked while Coach Meyer was in his press conference. Our last stop was to sit down with Coach Meyer and have a good conversation.
Ozone: Did the OSU coaches tell you to come or did you schedule it?
Watkins: OSU coaches have been sending me personal invites every week. I think they were disappointed that I was not able to attend games this season. I mentioned maybe a practice and they welcomed me to come ASAP.
Ozone: What do the coaches say in regards to an offer? Have they talked about where you would play?
Watkins: They told me to be patient and an offer would be coming. They have to go through the entire evaluation process. Coach Meyer talked specifically about wide receiver but I think safety is a possibility too.
Ozone: In college, what position do you desire to play?
Watkins: I don't have a position preference but I probably feel most comfortable at receiver right now.
Ozone: What is your top 5?
Watkins: I don't have a top 5 yet. I have a top 10 and it's all 10 schools that have offered me. I'm grateful for every offer and it's too soon to pass on any school. I like something about all them.
Ozone: You don’t currently have an OSU offer, so how long before you would consider eliminating a school that didn’t offer?
Watkins: That's a good question. I want to be an early commitment if possible. To me early is anytime before next football season. I'm not going to chase any offers, to do that would mean that I'm not happy with what I have. I'm very happy with what I have.
Ozone: How often are you talking to OSU coaches?
Watkins: I do not talk to OSU coaches a lot. I talk with Mark Pantoni almost every day. Mark is the same as talking to the coaches because his thoughts and decisions are equally important with recruiting.
Ozone: Do you have close friendships with OSU targets Dante Booker and Thaddeus Snodgrass? Where do you think they will end up?
Watkins: I don't know Dante Booker at all. I know Thad but I haven't talked with him much lately. I have no clue where Booker is going. I think I know where Thad is going but I don't want to step on his toes, and yes, I like to see a lot of Ohio players. I will be a good teammate with anybody but it's nice to see Ohio kids on your team.
*Thank you so much Darien for taking time to update Ozone on your recruitment. We will check in with you again at a later date for another update on your recruitment.