Scout Rating: ***
Scout Rank: #41 CB
Vitals: 6-foot-1, 190
Hometown: Elkton (Md.) Eastern Christian Academy
His Recruiting Story:
In March of 2013, Brandon Watson only had four offers to his name from the likes of Connecticut, Boston College, Temple and Rutgers. Watson was staying patient but eager to get out into 7-on-7’s and the summer camp circuit to show what he could do-- and he did. In the middle of June Watson and several teammates made their way to the Michigan camp in Ann Arbor and Watson made sure to bring his best to the field. Watson stood out at camp with great size and physical play at the position, something that impressed the Wolverines’ coaches enough to extend a scholarship offer. Just over a week later and following a trip to USC for their camp, Watson committed to Michigan.
Northeast Recruiting Analyst Brian Dohn on Watson following a high school game from his senior season: “Watson was physical and was able to flip his hips and run with the receivers. He was comfortable playing press coverage, and he rarely let the receiver release and get into his route with any kind of rhythm. He also had a very good interception (not on tape) in which he closed very quickly on a ball thrown 20 yards down the field over the middle.
Watson also read plays well and was able to get involved in tackles quickly despite the play not involving the player he was covering. Since Champagnat didn’t have much of a passing game, there were very few opportunities for him to show his coverage skills on timing patterns.”
Watson’s commitment to Michigan came immediately following a trip to the west coast and USC. Ironically enough, the visit to California was enough to convince Watson his home would be Ann Arbor.
“After the first day I was like it’s a nice place and everything, but it doesn’t compare to Michigan for me,” Watson stated. “I was hanging out there with my teammates so I got to have the whole experience, but I felt more at home at Michigan. Plus I’m going to have a teammate with me, Freddy Canteen… so that helps too.”
Perhaps the most excited of the Michigan coaches was defensive coordinator Greg Mattison, someone who loved Watson’s skill set throughout his camp experience.
“His voice got high and he was really excited,” Watson said laughingly. “I got on the phone with Coach Mattison and he was really excited for me to come there too.”
Watson, ranked as the 41st cornerback in the 2014 class, doesn’t get to Ann Arbor with the star power nor a bag full of major conference offers from some of college football’s best programs -- but that doesn’t matter. At 6-foot-1, 190-pounds, Watson is as versatile as they come with great physicality and swag for the position but also tremendous ball skills in the open field. Enrolling early in January Watson will be afforded the opportunity of competing in spring football and could be of immediate help on special teams units. As Michigan continues to look for corners that bring physical play, speed and pass coverage skills, Watson fits Greg Mattison’s defense and vision perfectly.