National Signing Day 2014: ATH Dareian Watkins signs with Wisconsin

For National Signing Day, we are profiling each recruit that signs with Wisconsin, including athlete Dareian Watkins from Galion, Ohio. Stay tuned to B5Q all week for more coverage of Wisconsin's 2014 class.

Class
Position
Height
Weight
2014
ATH
6-2
192 lbs
School
Composite Ranking
Galion (Ohio) Galion HS
(No. 23 ATH)

Go to Wisconsin Football Recruiting Hub >>

Dareian Watkins' allegiance once sided with Northwestern, until wide receivers coach Chris Beatty was able to steer the young man away from the Wildcats and toward the warm embrace of Wisconsin. Watkins took an unofficial to Madison in the middle of November, the Wildcats were none too happy and pulled their offer, and then Watkins took an official visit to Madison on Nov. 30 and committed that day.

What we know about Watkins: He is a solid package of size, speed, strength and versatility. He is arguably the best all-around athlete the Badgers are signing in 2014, though he may not make your jaw drop in any one particular facet. He spent most of his time behind center playing quarterback for Galion and showed off the open-field skills that should make him a natural fit at wide receiver, where he is expected to play for the Badgers.

How smoothly Watkins undergoes the transition to catching passes full-time remains to be seen. He acquitted himself well in his few appearances split wide, and the fact that he was trusted to handle quarterback and safety in high school suggests that he is a heady, adaptable player. Still, Watkins will be raw when he starts practicing.

The good news for Wisconsin is that their bet is hedged with four other commitments at the position in this year's class. Watkins doesn't need to contribute immediately. He will have all the time he needs to reach his high ceiling.

Rankings

Rivals: 5.8 (No. 10 ATH, No. 239 overall)
Scout (No. 49 WR)
ESPN: 81 (No. 43 ATH)
247: 90 (No. 25 ATH)

Verbally committed June 25, 2013

Beatty was the primary recruiter, officially flipping Watkins from Northwestern on Nov. 30. Watkins had offers from schools all over Big Ten country, including Iowa, Michigan State, Minnesota, Louisville, Penn State and West Virginia.

Video highlights

Statistics

Senior year (Via USA Today):
Eight games played
Passing: 58-for-90, 861 yards
Rushing: 136 carries, 770 yards, 5.7 YPC
Receiving: Four receptions, 143 yards

Honors

Selected to play in the 2014 Offense-Defense All-American Bowl

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