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Irish receive commitment from Dallas CB Nick Watkins

Nov 1, 2013, 3:38 PM EDT

Nick Watkins

Notre Dame received a verbal commitment from Dallas cornerback Nick Watkins today, making official a pledge that seemed a long time in the making. The six-foot-one, 180-pound cornerback had an impressive offer list, with Alabama, Florida State, Georgia, LSU, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Stanford, Texas, Texas A&M, UCLA and USC all in pursuit, among a few dozen other schools.

Watkins took an official visit to Notre Dame for the USC game, the only visit he scheduled before finalizing his commitment. (Watkins also unofficially took in the Shamrock Series game against Arizona State at Cowboys Stadium.) The Under Armour All-American is a Rivals250 prospect, and one look at his recruiting cohorts gives you an idea of his talent.

Irish cornerbacks coach and co-defensive coordinator Kerry Cooks was in charge of recruiting Watkins and Cooks did a great job once again heading into Texas and taking out top talent. Watkins has quite a pedigree, the son of former NFL cornerback and second round draft pick Bobby Watkins, who had 20 interceptions in his first four seasons with the Detroit Lions. Nick is already much taller than his father, as well as his brother Bobby, a cornerback now at Central Arkansas.

Watkins was one of the first cornerbacks offered by Mack Brown and Texas, a staff that notoriously cherry picks the top in-state talent early. But the combination of football and education was too much to turn down for Watkins.

Bishop Dunne head coach Michael Johnson had this to say about his star cornerback and wide receiver:  “He’s the best player at his position I have ever coached,” Johnson said, when Bishop Dunne awarded Watkins with their athlete of the month. “But he is a team player. He’s confident in his ability, but not arrogant.”

Watkins is the 17th member of the Irish 2014 recruiting class, and is currently the only secondary commitment in the recruiting class.


  1. bernhtp - Nov 1, 2013 at 3:49 PM

    When you read about many commitments, you can’t help but notice that elite athletes very often come from an elite athletic gene pool, and that brings up a thought. Use the words (e.g., video) of prominent parents of Notre Dame players (e.g., David Robinson) about how they could have sent their son anywhere, but Notre Dame provided them with the best character-building environment, education, opportunity and future. This would make for powerful recruiting collateral.

    • don74 - Nov 1, 2013 at 4:03 PM

      NY Times talked a little about that very thing today.

      • papadec - Nov 1, 2013 at 7:17 PM

        don – thanks for the NY Times add on. My brother & I have been talking, to each other, about this subject for a few years. Not just the sons of ND alums attending, following in dad’s footsteps, but sons of stars from other programs. One thing I didn’t see mentioned is the fact that the kids don’t seem to get celebrity status @ ND. Their peers seem to treat them as just that – peers.

  2. zemaniak - Nov 1, 2013 at 3:54 PM

    Athletes know all too well how easy it is to burn through all the easy money you make in the pros

  3. tampabayirish - Nov 1, 2013 at 7:37 PM

    Congratulations Nick. Not only did you make a great decision for the next 4 to 5 years of your life, you made an even better decision for the next 40-50 years of your life. Go Irish!

  4. mtflsmitty - Nov 1, 2013 at 8:10 PM

    Irish also in hot pursuit of his HS teammate, a safety. I read on HLS, I believe, they think this kid can add some weight and play LB. Would be great to have a smaller, faster LB option to compliment the usual suspects.

  5. 1notredamefan - Nov 1, 2013 at 8:14 PM

    The Jon Bon Jovi post and after.. make me think that these kids want a chance at being somebody too.. and were else would you be that than here with the crew… but also they don’t need the high payday that accommodates most other CFB schools.. their in it for the right reason! RKG’S

  6. 10of14 - Nov 1, 2013 at 9:41 PM

    I’m still waiting for the patented Ohio State fan comment (happens every year, with every recruit with an interest in OSU); “we really didn’t need him and after looking closer, he wasn’t really OSU caliber.”

    • dillonbigred - Nov 1, 2013 at 11:16 PM

      The SEC fans have been saying that on Bleacher Report. One said they don’t take anyone out of the top 50, and he is ranked #113. You do the math on that SEC logic.

      • papadec - Nov 2, 2013 at 2:19 AM

        dillon – espn has Nick @ #79, but your point about sec fans is well made & taken.

      • bernhtp - Nov 2, 2013 at 8:32 AM

        SEC fans can’t do math.

      • bernhtp - Nov 2, 2013 at 11:11 AM

        Not only are their fans not very good at math, their coaches aren’t either. As evidenced by oversigning, they can’t count to 25, let alone 85. Manziel not attending classes probably accounts for his inability to count the number of items he can sign with a memorabilia pro before it becomes implausible that he is doing it for free.

  7. mediocrebob - Nov 2, 2013 at 12:04 AM

    Living in Columbus , I’ve learned to laugh at what the clowns around here say/believe. (Trust me, they actually believe the nonsense they spew out). In their eyes, there really is no other program worth anything. It’s comical. They “want” bama from what I hear but what’s interesting is that that haven’t played a top 10 team since sugar bowl ’11 with all their (suspended) players and haven’t played a top 10 team in the regular season since ’09! I don’t drink the water around here.

    • papadec - Nov 2, 2013 at 2:21 AM

      Good idea to stick with the bottled/canned beer.

  8. tucsonfan - Nov 2, 2013 at 1:03 AM

    The only problem is these “committments” aren’t really committments. They just indicate a current intention. Even after signed LOI’s these elite kids change their minds often enough to not get me excited at this stage on any of them. The way things are going, its only a committment when they get to ND and actually play, and even then (see A Lynch) its not a lock.

    On the other hand, I’d rather have them saying yes than no, even this early :)

  9. hotlantalaw - Nov 2, 2013 at 6:16 AM

    Welcome nick!

  10. jem5b - Nov 2, 2013 at 12:42 PM

  11. ndgoldandblue - Nov 2, 2013 at 2:37 PM

    Welcome aboard, young man. You made an excellent decision!

    Okay, back to Navy for a second. Anyone here a little nervous about this game? I am, but I guess I have good reason to be. I was at the blowout in Jersey in 2010. Man, that one hurt. We’ve all seen the Irish get blown out before, but it’s either been to elite teams, or it was when the Irish were horrible (see 2007). When the Irish are, at a minimum, average in overall team ability and execution (think 7-5 to 8-4), they can make a push against better teams, and they beat worse teams. They may be the recipients of a blowout here and there, but that only happens to elite opposition. That’s what made the loss in 2010 to Navy so demoralizing.

    Navy was, at best, an average team, and they made the Irish look horrible. Since that game, I haven’t felt comfortable or even confident going into a Navy game. And I won’t assume the fat lady has sung until the game is actually over. Navy has shown that they can come back from deficits (they did so against Pitt last week), and the fact that the Irish are so banged up going into this game makes me even less confident.

    I have all the respect in the world for the navy. My father was in the navy; he served a tour in Vietnam while in the navy. I’ve got nothing but respect for them. But…I just hope the Irish obliterate the Naval Academy on the field today. Something similar to the outcome from last year would suffice. Go Irish!

  12. lambda02750 - Nov 2, 2013 at 3:28 PM

    I always love hearing that we picked up another game changer, but with the utmost respect Mr.Watkins, I’ll believe it when I see you in ND Blue and Gold! You keep your commitment as a recruit and I’ll keep mine as a fan…welcome to the family! IRISH!

  13. loadofwash - Nov 2, 2013 at 6:19 PM

    Let’s see, this recruit and that recruit and the 25 yrs of sucking roll on.

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