Carlos Watkins (6'4, 290), a 4-star DT from Chase HS in NC, picked Clemson over Will Muschamp's Florida Gators tonight after his game. Watkins is rated the #9 DT nationally by Rivals and the #86 player overall in the RIvals100. He had other notable offers from UGA, Bama, Auburn, Nebraska, UNC, and Notre Dame. Carlos was recruited by Dan Brooks, who recruits most of Western NC for Clemson.
Carlos Watkins is the type of top-flight DT that Clemson needed to pull in this year. We needed at least one to replace Jarvis Jenkins last year and did not manage to pull that level of talent, and it became a crucial need in terms of talent again this year with Brandon Thompson and Rennie Moore leaving. Even with our high numbers at DT because of the large class we took in the last cycle, I do not see Watkins taking a redshirt in 2012.
Watkins is big, even for a HS tackle, and a powerful rusher. His first step is really quick, and his shuttle time of 4.66 is pretty good for the size. Chase does not play the best competition, but what he does face he dominates. He has a good rip move, but he will need real technique work to dominate this way in college, because as is normal for a big strong guy in HS, he just bulldozes people. I think he steps right in as a 1-technique (where Thompson plays) for Clemson in a 4-3 front. Clemson has enough guys who could conceivably play the 3-technique, and needed a dominant replacement on the Nose.
Watkins becomes our 19th commitment, and Clemson is in definite oversign mode.