Blue chip defensive end attends OM's Jr Day

Alex Watkins

Alex Watkins (DE, Haywood, TN) - Perhaps the kid with the most upside from the Volunteer state is Alex Watkins. And if you are looking for a young man who has just as much character as he does game, look no further than Haywood County.

"He is just a good young man. He is an enjoy to work with. A coach's dream. Alex is always doing the little extra things to make him a better player. I do not know if you know this, but he runs track for us too. I am also the coach for our track team. I saw this kid in 8th grade. I knew we had ourselves a special person, a difference maker, back then. Alex has not disappointed me. He is the leader for our football and track programs. He studies hard in the classroom, and he has a lot of good folks around him," added the matter of fact head coach from Haywood County, Bart Stowe.

What about Alex Watkins as the player?

"He just has tremendous upside. I guess that is the best way to put it. Alex is just a big ole kid. He is really rangy with long arms. He is a 6' 5" kid who ran a 11.2 in the hundred meters just last week. In today's game, everybody is wanting to put pressure on the QB, and that is what he does the best. We play in a league where you run the ball a lot, but he still put up a bunch of sacks last year. He led our league in sacks for the third straight year. He is pretty much the best player day in and day out from around this area."

The 2005 campaign saw Watkins collect 90 tackles and 15 sacks, but what physically does Alex bring to the table?

"Well, he just has such a great motor. Colleges now like sideline to sideline players, and that is what he is. To give you an example, if you run a buck sweep away from him, he runs them down on the opposite side. You have to have more than one person to block him. Alex has the strength to go through you, and the speed to go around you. He is still only 16 years old. He will work hard to get to his potential. Alex will sack the QB, get up field, and run you down. He can do it."

All high school players have to make adjustments for the college level; what are Alex's?

"He has to put on some weight to be able to anchor a front to really control the line of scrimmage in the SEC. To play the one gap and face the power play, he will have to put on some more mass. He has the frame to hold it. Alex will be 260 and will be able run like a deer for you. Some program is going to get themselves a special player, a difference maker. He is in the same mold as what you see on Sunday's."

And just which programs are in the running for this "difference maker"?

There are six schools on him really hard that I talk to regularly. Ole Miss, MSU, and Memphis have offered Alex. Clemson, Alabama, and Tennessee are all on him heavily too."

Alex attended Ole Miss' Jr Day last weekend and might visit MSU and Tennessee this Spring too.

"We plan to make as many Jr Days as we can. We are going to take our time with this (recruiting process). Alex enjoyed his trip to Ole Miss. He likes their coaches and facilities, but he is not leaning anywhere. We will visit all of the schools and see which ones feels the best."

According to Coach Bart Stowe, Alex has already made a qualifying score on the ACT test, and is on track academically to be a full qualifier.

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