Nashville (Tenn.) four-star athlete Jashon Watkins lives in Volunteer country, so his friends at East Nashville Magnet School like to give him good-natured grief when they hear him talk about Clemson.
The class of 2019 prospect has been high on the Tigers for a while and hopes to eventually earn an offer from what he called his “dream” school.
“It would mean a lot to me because it’s a dream school,” Watkins told The Clemson Insider. “Everybody at my school knows. They like to tease me a lot. So it would mean the world to me. I would love to have that offer.”
Watkins is being pursued by a number of big-name programs, and it’s easy to see why. The 6-foot-4, 185-pounder is lengthy, athletic and plays all over the field for his team at cornerback, safety, wide receiver and even quarterback at times. He broke out as a sophomore last season when he accounted for 40 tackles on defense while accumulating more than 1,000 all-purpose yards and 11 touchdowns offensively.
Clemson is showing interest in Watkins and continues to evaluate him.
“Their coach has been talking to my coach a little bit, seeing how they like me, sending me mail every week,” Watkins said. “So there’s been a little bit of back and forth communication with the coach.”
Watkins said he is looking to make a visit to Death Valley for a game this season. It would mark his first visit to Clemson.
“I’ll be hoping to see a welcoming family (atmosphere) overall, just being able to interact with the coaching staff, interact with the fans, and experience a loud atmosphere,” Watkins said.
Tennessee pulled the trigger on Watkins’ first offer just a few weeks after the start of his freshman season in 2015. Since then, schools such as Florida, Georgia Tech, Kentucky, Mississippi State, Oklahoma and South Carolina have followed suit.
Watkins named some favorites in his recruitment but said he doesn’t plan to make his college decision until his senior year.
“I’d say Florida, Oklahoma, Alabama, Ohio State… There are some standouts, but I’m keeping my options open for right now,” he said.
Watkins probably projects best as a safety at the next level. ESPN ranks him as the No. 9 athlete and No. 135 overall prospect in the 2019 class.