A mere month ago, Little Elm cornerback Ryan Watts was without a single offer.
Then came an invitation to suit up for Illinois State on Jan. 13, and then Arkansas on Jan. 16, and then Utah and Oklahoma State on Jan. 17, and so on. Watts’ suddenly-soaring recruitment hasn’t slowed since. Between then and now, Washington, UCF, Oklahoma, Colorado, Texas A&M, Notre Dame, and most recently, Texas have put offers on the table, just to name a few.
Just weeks moved from awaiting his first offer, Watts now owns 21 scholarship invitations from which to choose. Watts admitted that his recent explosion onto the national recruiting trail has been a bit euphoric, but he’s also quickly learning of the stresses that accompany weighing a multitude of options that could take his future to any corner of the country.
“It’s truly been a blessing beyond words,” Watts told BON of what it’s like becoming on of the hottest prospects in the country, seemingly overnight. “Something I would look at on Twitter when I was a freshman was others blowing up and getting offers to now me being the one blowing up and getting the offers. It’s been a little stressful with lots of programs looking like it might be the place for me,” Watts added. “I just wanna make the best decision for me and see past the fake talk.”
Watts has already begun making headway to that end.
With a summer decision date in mind, Watts said Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Baylor, Cal, Notre Dame, Texas A&M, and Arkansas have his attention. As of Thursday, following discussions with cornerbacks coach Jason Washington and assistant receivers coach Rashaad Samples, which, in turn, led to Watts earning an offer, the Longhorns are on that list, as well.
“Texas is definitely in my top 10 schools,” Watts said.
The Horns will soon have a chance to creep closer towards the top of Watts’ list. On Feb. 16, Watts will make the short trek down I-35 from the Dallas area to Austin for Texas’ Junior Day, which will mark his first trip to the Forty Acres. With Watts eyeing a summer decision, it’s quite possible that his looming visit with the Longhorns could be his only before any potential list cuts.
If that proves to be the case, there are three boxes Texas must check to ensure the Horns remain in the running going forward: Tradition, defensive scheme, and “a solid, genuine relationship with the position coach and head coach,” Watts said.
Standing at 6’2, 187 pounds, Watts presents ideal length as a boundary cornerback and he displays an impressive ability to make plays on the ball. A physical corner on the outside, which is essential in Todd Orlando’s defensive scheme, Watts makes good use of his hands around the line of scrimmage and is then able to rely on lengthy strides to run step-for-step with receivers.
Watts is currently ranked as the nation’s No. 462 player and No. 31 cornerback, per the 247Sports Composite, but there’s good reason to expect Watts to climb the ranks throughout the 7-on-7 circuit.