South Fort Myers (Fla.) High duo Sammy Watkins and Dallas Crawford made their way to Ann Arbor for…
Vogt and Redhead on Crawford, Watkins
Geoff Vogt: Sammy Watkins is the total package as a WR prospect. He can flat run (sub 4.5), he has incredibly light feet which allows him to make players miss in the open field, and a body to be that prototype 6'3, 215 pounder down the road. I have watched him snare balls thrown as bullets down the middle of the field and he will just leisurely catch it with one hand; in other other words, he has elite hands. He runs very clean routes, precise, and understands how to get separation. These skills will translate to the next level when he sees better CBs. Sammy has worked hard at his craft, and with Dallas at QB, he has had the opportunity to really develop as a WR. While I view him as a WR prospect, Sammy could easily be a big-time Safety if he chose to go that route. Sammy is clearly the top WR in the state of Florida for 2011, which should put him in the discussion for #1 nationally.
Sam Webb: Break down Dallas' game. What position does Dallas project to on the next level< Some say corner. Others say safety.
Geoff Vogt: The first thing that I have to say about Dallas Crawford is that he is probably the best young man I have come across on the recruiting trail. He is simply an awesome kid who 'gets it'. He is a worker and a competitor, that shines through with his game on the field. This is a young man that is a HUGE asset to any program; he will lead by example. As a player, he is a terrific QB and has been for the last three years (he started as a freshmen at QB). He could easily get the job done at the QB position in college (cannon for an arm), but schools will be scared away because he is 5'10. He did make 10 interceptions as a junior as a Safety and it is his instincts that stick out. Dallas has the proverbial 'it'. He understands the game and does not think on the field, he just reacts. He has that "Ed Reed" in his game- just a knack for making plays. Dallas can jump out of the gym, he not only gets up, but has the timing to make the play at the apex, a special quality. He will almost certainly get a first look at cornerback and I think that is where he will ultimately end up because he will make himself into an elite CB. Dallas may be just 5'10 (legit), but he is very strong and not afraid to lay the lumber on the edge. If CB did not work out, he is a no brainer as a Safety or potentially a slot WR. There is simply no way he is not a big time contributor at the next level, he is too driven to allow it.
Sam Webb: Who are the teams to beat for these guys?
Geoff Vogt: Miami is one factor on the recruiting trail for these two players; Dallas grew up a Miami fan and both have offers from the Canes. However, Dallas is not going to let a childhood favorite get in the way of making the best decision for him. He also likes the Iowa Hawkeye coaching staff and several schools in the South. Sammy has more offers right now and his brother, Jaylen Watkins, signed with Florida last year. He is coveted by all the major schools in the country. He seems very open to the process and will be looking for the best fit, most likely a place he feels the depth chart is favorable and he fits with the team. It will be a battle for both players, but one that is worth fighting. Michigan had both players up for the Spring Game which is a great first step. Getting the players to take an official visit will be the next one (or perhaps come back in the summer for a camp).
Sam Webb: What do you think these guys are looking for most in schools? What will be the keys to landing them? Geoff Vogt: Dallas has worked hard in the classroom; I know he values a quality education. He is also a very 'real' young man, he is not going to fall for some of the less than honest comments that are bandied around by coaches. His relationship with the coaches who are recruiting him will be a huge factor. Sammy could have a potentially more 'intense' recruitment, it will be a difficult process for him until he makes his decision. He simply has a "who's who" of colleges who are interested in him and will need to cut that list down when the time is right. While both players would like to play together, these two are genuinely close off the field, both will make their own decision. It certainly will not hurt any school that gets a commit from one of these players.
Sam Webb: Knowing Sammy and Dallas as you do, how likely is it that they stay in the state of Florida? How open do you think they are to getting outside the state?
Coach Redhead: "They're both open. They have a few programs in the state of Florida that they are very, very high on, but also they have programs outside the state. There are a couple in the SEC, a couple of ACC and a couple of Big Ten teams. So they've got a very, very good top five, top seven that it is anybody's game. My philosophy is that if you are not in their top, either recruit harder, or you might want to move on; or just get to the know the kids and be honest and that makes a difference with the guys."
Sam Webb: As far as their process goes, what kind of advice are you giving to them about when they should make a decision?
Coach Redhead: "I told them, don't rush, don't jump. If a school says, you commit or we're taking the offer off the table, I tell them to let them take it off the table. These kids need to make a well-informed decision. They don't need to be pressured in. If you've known that program all your life and you know what you want and that's your dream school – commit. If not, go take your visits, make a well informed decision and find the place that you fit the best. There is nothing wrong with that."
Sam Webb: Give me your overall impressions of Michigan and what you think there's are?
Coach Redhead: "(Chuckle) Well mine's not hard. My uncle played in the ‘60s, so I've always been very high on Michigan."
Sam Webb: Who's your uncle?
Coach Redhead: "Rich Hahn, he played in the '64 Rose Bowl. I met him here today at the game and got to see him. I've been familiar with the program. I mean this is one of the pinnacles of college football. There are very, very few elite programs that are always in and this is one of them. I think it made a big impression. The boys, they had a deer in the headlight look. Their eyes were wide open and taking in everything. I think it was a very positive trip. I know they've got some others planned, unofficials and then they are going to whittle down their official trips. It is a good shot that Michigan is in the top five, but I do not know. I do not speak for them. They know what they want. When they tell me, I tell them I'm behind you."
Sam Webb: These guys have everyone under the sun looking at them. What do you think are going to be the important factors in their decisions?
Coach Redhead: "Academics are important, but honesty number one. With the way coaches approach them and the honesty and the integrity of the program; and then two, if they fit in. I do not expect Sammie at wide receiver to go to a school that runs two tight ends, power-I, throws the ball nine times a game. They want to go to a place that they are going to experience the type of football they have been playing, and what can benefit them the most."
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