The 6’4 shooting guard from Saint Louis, MO. caught the attention of John Beilein on the AAU circuit very recently. Watson’s performance in front of Beilein at the adidas Gauntlet in Dallas prompted a phone call afterward, during which Beilein told Watson he’d be coming to watch him more often.
And Beilein kept his word this past weekend at the Gauntlet event in Atlanta, where he watched Watson and his Ramey Jets United team multiple times.
— Billy Embody (@BillyEmbody) April 29, 2017
Steve Wojciechowski, John Beilein, and coaches from Baylor, TCU, and West Virginia are watching YIIS vs Ramey Jets 17’s. #adidasUprising
— Future150.com (@Future150) April 30, 2017
It’s only been “about a week” since Beilein and Michigan started recruiting Watson, but they’ve quickly leapt into a group of schools that Watson says he’s kept in close contact with throughout the process.
“The schools that have been recruiting me the most (and) that I have been talking to the most have been West Virginia, Butler, Missouri, Creighton, Kansas State, Iowa State, Vanderbilt, and now also Michigan,” Watson told UMHoops Monday night.
The Wolverines aren’t too late to the party, either. At first, Watson planned on cutting his list of schools down, but now he says he’ll probably “keep it at what it is.” He’s certain that he wants to take all five of his official visits in the fall before making a decision before his high school season begins.
That extended timeline is good news for Michigan, considering how recently they emerged on Watson’s radar. He admitted he hasn’t done much research into the program thus far — but the Wolverines will have an ally in his recruitment.
“My high school coach is a big fan,” Watson said. “He’s been telling me about the system, and the type of guys they have on the system, it would really fit me. And coach Beilein was telling me about how Michigan is one of the only schools to win a championship in every single sport, so I found that interesting as well.”
Whether Watson visits will be key to Michigan’s chances. He was invited to do so, either unofficially or officially, and hopes to take Beilein up on the offer. Watson’s not sure when that will take place, though, due to how far the distance is.
In the meantime, he’ll continue to build his relationship with Michigan’s head man.
“(Beilein) was just saying that he liked that I was a big guard that could score and a good character guy, and those were the type of guys that they have in the program,” Watson said. “He just talked about how for my year coming in, they’ll need a big guard who can score and also defend.”