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.”
TOP 10 FOOTBALL RECRUITING STORIES
– By Michael Carvell, AJC Recruiting Blog
Note: Inappropriate BLOG comments and personal attacks will NOT be tolerated. We love the lively discussions but hate-filled, harassing and irresponsible comments are unacceptable.