October 5, 2011

2014 ATH interested in Kent State

One of the more promising rising sophomores in Ohio right now is Galion product Dareian Watkins. The 6-foot-2, 184-pound athlete is on the radar of college programs around the nation. Watkins was a freshman starter at Galion and is off to a strong start to his sophomore season as interest continues to build for this versatile prospect.

"(Recruting) is going pretty good," Watkins explained. "It's going fast. A lot of schools are contacting me, sending me questionnaires and stuff. There's been a couple of schools inviting me to games. It's pretty cool being this young and (getting this level of interest)."

Watkins has been busy taking unofficial visits throughout the season and he has a few more lined up during the month of November.

"I have the Wisconsin/Purdue game (on November 5th)," he said. "I think we have Georgia/Georgia Tech on the 26th (of November) and we got invited to go to Oregon for their game against Oregon State."

Watkins was recently a visitor at Kent State for the game against Louisiana-Lafayette.

"It was really rainy," he said. "It poured the whole time we were there but I was mostly impressed with the punter (Matt Rinehart). I punt too and to see that kind of a punt is just amazing. I never saw anybody punt it as well as the punter from Kent State."

Watkins has established a pretty strong relationship with the Flashes' coaching staff over the last six months, particularly safeties' coach Jeff Burrow.

"Mainly coach (Jeff) Burrow," Watkins said of his contact with the staff. "When I was at their camp, he was the one I talked to the most. He's the one I've kind of got a little closer to and he talked with my dad after (camp). He's the one that I've really got the most involved with."

Watkins had an outstanding camp performance at Kent over the summer and said he enjoyed his experience greatly.

"It was fun," he said. "That was my first time ever running a 4.5 in the 40-yard dash, so that was pretty exciting. At the end in this one-on-one drill both teams were tied and they put me against the other team's top receiver so that was fun."

Not only has Watkins established a strong connection with the coaching staff but he has grown up watching a former Kent State standout excel on Sunday's.

"Josh Cribbs is one of my favorite NFL players," he said. "Him going to Kent State, that shows that they can produce a lot of top NFL players so that's pretty cool. I try to watch him the most when he's returning kicks. I watch the way he fields the ball and how his vision is."

On the field, Watkins and his Galion team are off to a great start to the 2011 season and have the playoffs in their sights.

"We're 5-1 now," he said. "Our first game of the year against Mansfield, we were winning the whole game and we lost the lead with like four minutes to go. We made a commitment after that game that we didn't want to lose again this year."

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