One of the latest prospects to explode onto the recruiting scene is South Aiken (Aiken, S.C.) star defensive end/linebacker Dekoda Watson. The 6-2, 206-pound prospect landed four new Division 1A scholarship offers with an outstanding performance during the NC/SC Shrine Bowl week. He has since scheduled four official visits with 1A programs.
“We thought he performed real well [at the Shrine Bowl],” South Aiken Head Coach Dan Pippin said. “Normally, we play him with his hand on the ground at defensive end. The Shrine Bowl coaches kind of caught him off guard when he was asked to play outside linebacker. It was amazing that he played as well as he did without ever playing the position.”
Watson was a 3-year starter on the varsity level and, this past season as a senior, he earned all-state honors for his performance. He racked up around 110 tackles with 23 tackles-for-loss and 11 sacks this past season. He earned all-region honors each of the past two seasons.
In terms of where Watson projects on the next level, Pippin says “a lot of coaches have come through and it really depends on the school. He’s such a good athlete that I think he could play wherever they ask…obviously except for lineman or whatever.”
Another attractive trait about Watson is that he has the right attitude to go along with his ability.
“The biggest thing about Dekoda is that, for as great a player as he is, he is an even better person,” Pippin said. “I think that’s the biggest thing going for him.”
UNC and Kentucky had offered scholarships before the Shrine Bowl, while South Carolina offered the week of. Florida State, Tennessee and Virginia Tech have each come in with offers following Watson’s Shrine Bowl performance.
Virginia Tech was showing interest beforehand, however.
“He’s got an official visit to Virginia Tech set for January 28th and I can’t see him not taking it,” Pippin said. “It was a big thing when Coach Pearman and Coach Foster came to one of our games. I know that was a big difference to him and that was a big deal to his parents.”
Right now, Pippin doesn’t believe his star has any clear favorites. Watson made his first official visit last weekend, when he went to South Carolina. Pippin says “I think it went well. They answered a lot of the questions he had, which was good.”
UNC is scheduled for this weekend,...
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