Watkins' big play shows why he is one of North Carolina's top prospects

by - Senior Writer -

CLEMSON – The Chase [N.C.] High Trojans led Chesnee 21-14 late in the fourth quarter of Friday night’s contest when defensive tackle Carlos Watkins Carlos Watkins
Defensive Line
6-4, 285
Forest City, NC

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made the kind of play that has made him one of the most sought-after prospects in the nation, and still leaves Chase head coach Don Bailey shaking his head in wonder.

“Carlos just took over that game,” Bailey told TigerNet Sunday afternoon. “He is a big kid (6-4, 275) but he moves as well as anybody. His on-the-field agility is what I think sells him to college coaches – that and his lateral movement is so good. He had about nice tackles, three or four sacks, a pass deflection and a forced fumble. He even caught a 10-yard pass.”

But it was his interception of Chesnee quarterback Chase Turner that sealed the win for the Trojans.

“They had thrown a screen on us earlier, and Carlos had just missed it,” Bailey said. “But he read this one right, and he took two steps and then opened up his hips and got back to the line of scrimmage and picked it off. It was an incredible play.”

Bailey said that people still don’t realize just how athletic Watkins can be.

“People just don’t realize how athletic this kid is,” he said. “There are a lot of players in the nation that can go out and do what he does on defense. But there are not a lot of them that can go out and play wide out at his size, and we do put him in the slot sometimes. He has the best hands on the team, hands down. In our first game, he actually caught a 26-yard pass on a skinny post and took it for a touchdown. He is so athletic it is ridiculous. He is like a defensive back or a running back that is in the body of a defensive lineman.”

Bailey said that despite his athleticism, he still sees Watkins as a defensive tackle in college.

“He is definitely a defensive tackle, but if he goes to a team that plays the 3-4, he can play the end in that scheme,” he said. “He is good enough to be a two-gap player or a one-gap player.”

Watkins visited Clemson a few weeks ago and came away with Clemson near the top of the pack, and Clemson coaches will be at his game against Cherryville on Sept. 9th. He will make an official visit to Clemson for a game early in the season, according to Bailey.

“I think he might actually make a decision in the next couple of weeks,” Bailey said. “I think he is getting closer to making a decision. The top schools he always mentions to me are Clemson, Florida, Alabama and South Carolina. “

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