Surprise! DT Jordan Watkins commits to Stanford over UGA (UPDATED)

Jordan Watkins picks Stanford over UGA (Photo courtesy of Woodward Academy's Marci Mitchell)

Jordan Watkins picks Stanford over UGA (Photo courtesy of Woodward Academy's Marci Mitchell)

UGA’s 0-2 start and widespread speculation over Mark Richt’s future may have cost the Bulldogs the chance to land one of the nation’s most-heavily recruited college football prospects.

Woodward Academy defensive tackle Jordan Watkins committed to Stanford over UGA on Tuesday. The 6-foot-5, 268-pounder started off the recruiting process with 35 early scholarship offers before finally settling on Stanford.

“In my mind, Coach Richt deserves to stay, but the fact that everyone is talking about him leaving made me think of what will happen with [UGA defensive line coach Rodney Garner] if Coach Richt leaves,” Watkins told the AJC. “I’ve developed such a good relationship with them that it’d be tough to go to Georgia if they weren’t there.”

Watkins informed UGA of his decision in advance on Tuesday’s announcement. “They understood, and Coach Richt said that if anything were to change [with my decision], to let them know.”

Stanford was the winning school for Watkins, who is one of the state’s most well-rounded student-athletes. The Cardinal gained inside position after the big guy took an official visit to the California school in July.

“When I went out there, I already knew how great they were academically and football-wise,” Watkins said. “I had a chance to spend pretty much all day with [Stanford coach David Shaw] and some players. I felt like it was the place I really wanted to be.”

What if UGA wasn’t 0-2? What if there wasn’t the speculation over Richt’s future? Watkins claims he would’ve still made the same decision with Stanford.

There’s so much more to Watkins than football. He has a 3.7 GPA and plans to major in Broadcast Journalism or Communications.

At Woodward, Watkins plays three instruments – the piano, violin and bass – and has been a member of the school orchestra since the third grade. Along with football, Watkins plays basketball at the Atlanta private school. However, it was football that got Jordan all the scholarship offers.

“Jordan is a kid with a great motor and an incredible amount of knowledge about the game of football,” said Woodward assistant Matt Brennan, who has coached Watkins since the seventh grade. “He has good hands and quick feet for a big guy, and plays with a lot of discipline.”

He is also a fervent supporter of Atlanta’s professional sports teams, including the Braves, Hawks and Falcons. Since his birth, Watkins has attended every Falcons home game except for one.

Back to UGA: Watkins told the AJC that there was no truth to the rumors that he soured on the Bulldogs because they wanted him to switch to offensive line in college. “I heard speculation about that and talked to Georgia’s coaches about that, and they said it was completely false.”

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213 comments Add your comment

B.G

September 13th, 2011
12:40 pm

Tech is 2-0!!!!

September 13th, 2011
12:41 pm

NO SURPRISE. Why would ANY recruit commit to UGA when Mark Richt already has one foot out the door?

Big Dirty Dawg

September 13th, 2011
12:41 pm

Fine opportunity ......enjoy

September 13th, 2011
12:42 pm

UGA grad here. Fine choice, he will enjoy the west coast, with great food and vistas and the weather. Be out htere myself in about one mont to visit daughter up in the Napa Valey Sonoma area.

Good luck young man and congrats on the hard work at Woodward.

Go Dogs.

UGA class of 71 & 73

Gt

September 13th, 2011
12:43 pm

The young man chose wisely… Why honestly go play in front of 90 thousand rednecks that get drunk and start fights… I had to smack a ga fan down st the tech game last year. It’s what we do

slydog

September 13th, 2011
12:45 pm

The Stanford/Better Academics argument isn’t logical here. This was and is about D1 football and D1 football only. He could have gotten into just about ANY school based off of academics alone and won or earned scholarships. How do you think low in come or working class folks are able to afford Ivy league colleges and private schols, such as Emory, anyway? Scholarships, grants, fellowships, etc. Besides, you have Ivy League and Stanford trained educators at almost every school in the country. This about NOT playing for UGA. Uga is where his heart is, but the program is unstable right now. Out at Stanford, more stability, good education in case of injury, and not feeling like a sellout by signing with, say, Auburn and having to play against UGA. It’s just my opinion.

B.G

September 13th, 2011
12:45 pm

So y did he pick Stanford over UGA? Is it because of the way the season has started for UGA? He said he is a supporter of Georgia sports.

security dawg

September 13th, 2011
12:49 pm

Another 1 bits the dust…. Amazing that these kids would rather go after A STANFORD EDUCATION rather then stay home and play for UGA. (ref to Tucker HS LB last year)…. DAWGS loosing ground in state but picking up OUT of GA…

ATL Sports Fan

September 13th, 2011
12:49 pm

Has been a Stanford lean for a WHILE . He made up his decision back over the summer. Main reason is UGA initially recruited him as a defensive end, but changed their mind during the summer and have been persuing him as a offensive guard/tackle. He is a stud on the offensive line for those who have never seen him play. He doesn’t want to play offense in college

Stanford Fan

September 13th, 2011
12:50 pm

Why wouldn’t he choose Stanford over UGA? Same decision with James Vaughters last year. Better academics, better football, better environment.

collegeballfan

September 13th, 2011
12:51 pm

Only a fool would turn down a Stanford University education for a University of Georgia education.

How old is this kid? 18? So he plays football for 5 years at Stanford, then plays 10 years in the NFL. He will be 33 years old. What will he do with his life for the next 50 years?

With a UGA education he can do what he has been educated to do.

With a Stanford education he can do whatever he wants to do. The value of a Stanford degree and a UGA degree are light years apart.

RRTDawgs

September 13th, 2011
12:51 pm

Atkins hurt are chances and we have Taylor so i guess makes since he had choose someone Stanford will loose Luck next year they wont be as good oh well .

TH

September 13th, 2011
12:52 pm

NOT a surprise … was a Stanford lean a while back, fyi.

Dorsey Hill

September 13th, 2011
12:54 pm

I’m a dawg but if Stanford offered me a free education I’d be hard pressed to turn them down. This kid has more going for him than just football. I hate to be harsh but right now we need guys that need football and have little time or regard for much else.

2.8 million

September 13th, 2011
12:54 pm

Im not Surprised and its time to Run these clowns out of Athens!

steve dez

September 13th, 2011
12:56 pm

Way to go against your dream school, you let the state and your highschool coaches down

gg

September 13th, 2011
12:57 pm

ALL football programs come and go, but the value of college degrees are very stable. I’m a UGA alum and a Dog fan, but every HONEST individual will admit that a Stanford degree is stable at the TOP. Given the choice he had, he made the RIGHT decision!

Chuck

September 13th, 2011
12:59 pm

I love UGA, but a free ride in Palo Alto is an AMAZING opportunity.

It’s like Tech, only with scenery and women.

TreeBark

September 13th, 2011
1:01 pm

Stanford will be good after Luck. They recruit SEC country very well (James Vaughters, Wayne Lyons, Noor Davis) and get top athletes from TX and Cali as well. Very few schools can recruit around the country like Stanford. They have had very good recruiting classes over the past several years and a great foundation for the future. Anyone who thinks this program was all about Luck and Harbaugh really don’t know the school or the transformation of the administration’s attitude towards the sport over the past several years. This genie’s out of the bottle now…

MttPF

September 13th, 2011
1:02 pm

Gee …. a bright kid who chose a Stanford education over a Parks and Recreation degree. Huh, go figure. And who would want to play for the morons who plague this blog and state, anyway!! Go Coastal!!

I know

September 13th, 2011
1:03 pm

Not an SEC type kid anyway. Trust me!

sapelodawg

September 13th, 2011
1:04 pm

cmr strikes again …………..

Concrete Pete

September 13th, 2011
1:06 pm

Yall know I’m the biggest dawg fan there is, but you know the saying: Kids that are smart enough to get an offer from Stanford are far too smart to turn it down.

Dawgs97

September 13th, 2011
1:10 pm

C’mon, everyone calm down. Hard to bash a kid with a 3.7 GPA who’s obviously so bright, choosing one of the top Universities in the country. UGA ia a great school and I am proud of my degree, but Stanford is very hard to get into and they have a strong football program. It’s one of the few places one can really understand a decision like that.

Best of luck to Jordan Watkins.

John

September 13th, 2011
1:13 pm

The kid reportedly grew up a Tech fan, but Tech didn’t have the major he wanted (Brodcast Journalism), so It doesn’t surprise me too much that he choose Stanford. Heck, right now Stanford has a better football team than Georgia too. Its too bad for tech, they get hurt again by the lower than average selection of degree fields.

Jordan Watkins (Good Luck!)

September 13th, 2011
1:13 pm

Hate to see you not choose UGA but I wish you good luck at Stanford. Make Georgia proud of you out there!

Clint Thomas

September 13th, 2011
1:17 pm

One of the best OLB in the college game today #44 Chase Thomas went across country to play for Stanford as well (Played for Walton). All other SEC schools offered him execpt UGA. Not only talent they need to look for kids who are intelligent and can be coached.

Joe Schmoe

September 13th, 2011
1:17 pm

Ouch… Smart school for a smart kid. Perfect fit.

coachx

September 13th, 2011
1:19 pm

Dawg fan here.

I wish this young man the best of luck moving foward……and if you evcer get home sick out there on the West coast Athens, Ga. will be happy to have you come back home.

xl dawg

September 13th, 2011
1:20 pm

Chose Stanford over UGA based on where program is headed. Coach Richt needs to right the ship or more will follow out of state!

xl dawg

September 13th, 2011
1:21 pm

I’m a WA Grad!

WinderDawg

September 13th, 2011
1:21 pm

Oh Well…never hear from him again. If he wanted academics, he could have chose Vandy and played in the SEC.

Marine Jacket

September 13th, 2011
1:21 pm

@steve dez

He is not responsible from making his coach or state feel warm and fuzzy by picking UGA. You sir are a clown

Go Jackets!!

AnnapolisDawg

September 13th, 2011
1:23 pm

Best of luck Jordan and stay focused on the academics!

c'mon man

September 13th, 2011
1:24 pm

Best of luck at Stanford. May you enjoy a fruitful college career!

Go DAWGS!

Coach Mo

September 13th, 2011
1:26 pm

Big Fella, you know who this is. I talked to Your mom Friday. You picked my choice. Congrats. You look good in that #75. Call me.

TreeBark

September 13th, 2011
1:26 pm

Stanford’s program is on the upswing as a whole. It’s not just a coach or a QB. There’s a program with a solid foundation in years of very good recruiting. The football/academic combo is tough to beat right now, not to mention the area, weather and campus. Good luck Jordan! Go Card!

CobbDawg51

September 13th, 2011
1:28 pm

Hey MttPF, you sound like a real Einstein. You have never seen the inside of Stanford or UGA and never will. What time is lunch break over at the mill?

piertmontdawgny

September 13th, 2011
1:28 pm

sounds like a no brainer…or should i say yes brainer…

ed

September 13th, 2011
1:30 pm

good luck young man, maybe you can become the first to go west to play CFB from GA and ever be heard from again.

Delbert D.

September 13th, 2011
1:31 pm

Jordan Watkins will be joining an elite group in a few years as a Stanford alumnus. He will have connections at the highest level in any area of endeavor he may choose.

steve dez

September 13th, 2011
1:31 pm

marine jacket, it is you who is the clown. IF you actually knew the kid and what the Woodward staff has done for him, then you might understand, but you sir, are ignorant. He did let his state down, kids like this should go to UGA, Pollack and Stinchcomb are both on tv doing just fine with their UGA degree, could have stayed home

LHarding Dawg

September 13th, 2011
1:37 pm

Good Luck Jordan and best wishes for a great football and educational career at Stanford.

DawginLex

September 13th, 2011
1:40 pm

Wanted him at Georgia but to get a free ride to Stanford is pretty impressive.

good luck

Bob Loblaw

September 13th, 2011
1:45 pm

Captain Atlanta

September 13th, 2011
1:46 pm

@Steve Dez
What is the point of College? To get a quality education. Sure you can get a great education at UGA, but, it is NOT Stanford. This is a smart kid, and with you saying he let down UGA and his coaches, you obviously are not nearly as smart as this 17 yr old kid. Grow up Steve. You are a clown. My guess is you never saw inside a lecture hall, or lab. Just a clown who thinks the world should revolve around the Dawgs.

OleSwole

September 13th, 2011
1:47 pm

I always say if a kid wants to go out of state to play then stay there and get a job once you are done. I wonder why Florida backed off?

John

September 13th, 2011
1:51 pm

Steve dez.. I barely have words for the ignorance. How does what the Staff at Woodward did for him, have any bearing on where he should go to college? We live in a free nation, one where a person can choose to go to a better school and play for a better football program than UGA if he wants. Your sense of entitlement is astounding. No one in this state is obligated to go to UGA, Tech, or anywhere else. Its nice, but if he choose to go elsewhere, it’s the fault of the program, or school, for not living up to his standards.

nash

September 13th, 2011
1:53 pm

Good luck at Stanford and, hope to see this young man playing on Saturdays but so of you are over looking the fact that Dalvin Thompson was at the south carolina game so at least me let CMR know what his intentions where ahead of time

Birmingham Jacket

September 13th, 2011
1:55 pm

Ha! Ha! Ha!

UGA program going down-hill in a handbasket.

You leg-humpers will look like Tennesse did last year, rebuilding your shambles in a year or two.