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January 27, 2014

Recruiting Recap: Brandon Watson

In the weeks leading up to national signing day, we'll take a look at each one of Michigan's commits.

For previous editions of Recruiting Recap, follow the links: Wilton Speight, Drake Harris, Freddy Canteen., Maurice Ways, Ian Bunting, Juwan Bushell-Beatty, Mason Cole, Michael Ferns, Chase Winovich, Noah Furbush, Jared Wangler.

Player: Brandon Watson, defensive back

Location: Elkton (Md.) Eastern Christian Academy

Height: 5-11

Weight: 185

Rankings: Three-star prospect, ranked the No. 60 cornerback in the class and the No. 20 player in the state of Maryland, according to Rivals.com.

Committed: June 29, 2013, enrolled early.

Other Notable Offers: Boston College, Connecticut, Maryland, Temple.

The Latest News On Watson:

  • Watson reacquaints himself with Ann Arbor:

    "Last time he was in the state of Michigan, Elkton (Md.) Eastern Christian Academy rising senior Brandon Watson was a young football player looking for a chance. The 6-0, 180-pounder earned that chance at the Wolverine Technique School summer camp in Ann Arbor June 18.

    "He jumped on a scholarship offer less than a week later, pledging to become a Michigan Wolverine along with teammate Freddy Canteen. With his college future settled, Watson returned to Michigan just over a week ago to attend the Barbecue at the Big House recruiting event.

    "'The Barbecue was, fun chilling with all the commits and recruits," he said. "We got to experience the atmosphere up there in Ann Arbor. It was the first time meeting most of the other commits face to face, but I talk to them on Facebook, Twitter, and we text sometimes. We already know each other, so it was just putting the face to guys that I already knew.'

    "In addition to the social portion of the visit, Watson also learned quite a bit more about the school and campus.

    "'I loved the school,' he said. 'That, and the video they played when we went into the Big House at the end of it. I loved it all. Watching the video in the Big House, that made me really excited.

    "'Right afterwards, I went to the MDen and picked up some gear," he added with a laugh.'"

  • Brandon Watson talks Wolverines:

  • Brandon Watson highlights:

    Analysis from TheWolverine.com's Tim Sullivan:

  • Strengths: "Watson has good size for a cornerback at 5-11, 190 pounds, and he has the frame to add more mass. He is a very intelligent player in the backfield, something important at one of the most difficult mental positions on the field, should he end up at safety. The ability to play either there or at corner is another asset."

  • Weaknesses: "While Watson is a good athlete, he's certainly not the fastest defensive back. Michigan can play him at safety to cover for that to an extent, since he has the physical nature to his game that will allow him to play the run."

    What To Expect From Watson In 2014: The Wolverines have quite a few cornerbacks who saw the field this season. Blake Countess will be a redshirt junior and Raymon Taylor will be a senior, and while Countess may continue to see a big chunk of his playing time dedicated to the nickel back spot, he is still a cornerback at heart.

    Channing Stribling, Jourdan Lewis and Delonte Hollowell all saw time as the No. 3 cornerback, and all three made strides throughout the 2013 season. They should be poised for a big step after another offseason spent in Ann Arbor.

    The field is already pretty full - and next year, the Wolverines will add five-star prospect Jabrill Peppers into the mix, who should provide an immediate impact at cornerback.

    Watson, therefore, will be hard-pressed to find playing time at cornerback as a rookie.

    But he may be a helpful addition to the safety corps. Thomas Gordon graduated after the 2013 season, and Josh Furman, who would have been a senior, decided to transfer out of the program. That leaves Jarrod Wilson as the lone safety on the roster with a lot of playing experience.

    Wilson; Dymonte Thomas, who will be a sophomore; Jeremy Clark, who will be a redshirt sophomore; and Delano Hill, who will be a sophomore, will be the favorites to fill the two safety spots, and Watson could possibly earn his way onto the field as a backup.

    He has the added benefit of being on campus early to work with the coaches and strength and conditioning staff through the winter, spring and summer.

    What To Expect From Watson In His Career: Watson has good technique and a natural feel for coverage. As Sullivan noted above, he is not the fastest athlete on the field, but he should be able to get stronger and faster while working with the Michigan strength and conditioning staff.

    He could be a consistent contributor at safety as soon as 2015, and be a steady rotation player or starter in 2016 and 2017.

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