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.