One of the many 2014 attendees that will be present at Friday Night Lights this weekend is ATH Dareian Watkins. He is a 6-2 185 pound prospect from Galion, OH, who plays at quarterback, safety, cornerback, linebacker, punter, punt returner and kick returner for his high school team. He's been rated as one of the top Ohio prospects by Rivals OhioPrep.com, a top 100 player by 247Sports, and a rising 2014 prospect by Scout.com.
The staff has taken notice of his talents as well, and have had him on campus multiple times, including the spring game and summer camp. He will be back for FNL and will be looking to land an offer. I chatted with him about what he is expecting this weekend and where things stand on the recruiting trail.
What have you been up to this summer?
DW: I have been doing a lot of preparation for football. I've been to several college camps. I lift and do agility training 4 days per week. I do a lot of passing in my spare time.
What schools are showing interest in you?
DW: Right now I would say Illinois, West Virginia, Georgia Tech, Northwestern, Wisconsin, Ohio State and several MAC schools.
Who are you the most interested in?
DW: I am 100% open but I like Illinois a lot. I can't see Illinois not being one of my top choices. I would also not hesitate to go to the right MAC school. Some schools present different opportunities but they all present some opportunity.
DW: I don't speak with OSU a lot because they cannot contact me until September 1st. I have emailed Coach Hinton, Coach Herman and Mark Pantoni recently. My dad is friends with Coach Gillum.
What position are they recruiting you for?
DW: OSU has made it clear they like me as an "athlete" right now. They have said that QB is back as a possibility but they liked me at WR at first. Mark Pantoni said my versatility is what they want to see at camp.
How would you describe your game?
DW: I would describe myself as a guy that can make plays at most any position on the field. I do need to get better in all aspects but I really feel I could play QB, WR, CB or S in college.
You will be at Friday Night Lights. What are you most looking forward to?
DW: I am looking forward to showing what I can do at WR at FNL. At the last camp I played QB the whole time and showed them I can run in the 4.4 range while making the tough throws in tight spaces. This camp I want to show that I'm strong enough to not be jammed at the line and fast enough to create space. And of course I love catching the football.
You expressed some frustration on Facebook about people questioning your film and the level of competition you play against. What are you hoping to prove?
DW: I probably should have not said anything about the "competition issue". I just want to go out there and play against whoever they line up. I have great respect for all these very talented athletes but I have already faced many of the players that the critics want me to face. Maybe they didn't see it at other camps but it's nothing I haven't already done a lot.
What are you looking most forward to this season at Galion?
DW: I want to be 15-0 at Galion. I believe we can do it. It will be tough and a great challenge but we're excited about that challenge. I have great teammates and I want everybody to see that Galion is a great TEAM.