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2018 Early Signing Period: RB Nakia Watson signs with Wisconsin

A look at the talented Texas running back.

Wisconsin Athletics

Class of 2018 RB Nakia Watson

Position Height Weight School 247Sports Composite Ranking
Position Height Weight School 247Sports Composite Ranking
RB 6'0 226 Austin, Tex. (Westlake) Three-star, No. 29 RB

Running back Nakia Watson from Austin, Tex., powerhouse Westlake High School is moving up north for his college career. Watson is the lone running back in Wisconsin’s 2018 recruiting class.


247Sports (composite): 3-stars; Grade: 0.8688; No. 639 player; No. 29 RB; No. 84 TX

247Sports: 3-stars; Grade: 86; No. 748 player; No. 41 RB; No. 95 TX

ESPN: 3-stars; Grade: 77; No. 35 RB; No. 153 Regional; No. 120 TX

Rivals: 3-stars; No. 33 RB; No. 66 TX

Verbally Committed June 10, 2017

Watson is a likely redshirt candidate in 2018, with the return of freshman phenom Jonathan Taylor as well as backups Bradrick Shaw and Chris James. But we saw this season with Taylor that Paul Chryst is not afraid to play underclassmen in the backfield if they give the Badgers the best chance to win.

Watson certainly has the skill set and size to play early in his career at Wisconsin. B5Q’s Jake Kocorowski wrote about Watson’s potential back in May when the Badgers first offered him:

Watching Watson’s Hudl highlight film, his ability to break tackles and bounce off defenders is immediately evident. 247Sports lists him at 5’11, 212 pounds, with Rivals at 6’0, 220 pounds, so he has the frame to accumulate yards after contact easily.

Watson also shows the ability to make receptions out of the backfield. Combine that with what appears to be the speed to not have defenders catch him in the open field and he’s an intriguing, under-the-radar prospect.

Watson had himself a stellar senior season, finishing with 1,938 rushing yards and 27 touchdowns. He might not make a substantial impact until his second or third year on campus, but Watson has the tools to turn into an all-Big Ten level running back with the Badgers.

According to 247Sports, Watson also had offers from Bowling Green, Harvard, Nevada, and North Texas.

Video Highlights

Bio (Courtesy of

High School: Three-star recruit by 247 Sports, ESPN and Rivals … helped lead team to state semifinals as a senior … named first-team all-state as a senior…first-team All-Central Texas and first-team all-district honors as a junior and senior … honorable mention all-state by Associated Press as a junior … finished three-year varsity career with 3,719 rushing yards and 51 touchdowns on 560 attempts, averaging 6.6 yards per carry … also finished with 35 receptions for 463 yards and 6 touchdowns … racked up 1,938 rushing yards and 27 touchdowns on 268 carries, averaging 7.2 yards per attempt as a senior, recording 11 games of 100-plus rushing yards … also made 18 receptions for 327 yards and 6 TDs … ran for 1,648 yards and 22 touchdowns on 246 carries (6.4 average) as a junior … also caught 14 passes for 123 yards … notched 133 rushing yards and 2 touchdowns as a sophomore at Manor High School … also lettered in powerlifting and track and field … coach was Todd Dodge

Personal: Mother is DeSeria Ross