Moeller Coach: Watkins 'comfortable' with NU

PurpleWildcats.com Publisher
Posted Aug 4, 2012


Cincinnati Moeller (OH) product Keith Watkins felt comfortable enough on his tour of Northwestern where he decided to be a Wildcat. John Rodenberg, head football coach at Moeller, discusses the Wildcats' sixteenth verbal commitment.

It was very important for Keith Watkins to bring his entire family with him to visit Northwestern. The three-star prospect comes from a tight-knit home.

During the visit during the last week of July, Watkins and his family met with Northwestern coaches, toured campus, and were sold on him becoming a Wildcat. Watkins made his intentions official as he committed to Northwestern.

"Everything they saw -- the academics, seeing him play, the level of football, the Big Ten -- they were just very impressed," said John Rodenberg, head football coach at Moeller High School.

Watkins, a 5-foot-11, 180-pounder, is Northwestern's 16th verbal commitment. He will play defensive back for the Wildcats.

"The fact that he had the opportunity to play defensive back is something he wants to do," Rodenberg said.

"He's a shutdown corner, he's a 4.4 kid. ... When Moeller plays basketball, he clamps down on the best player because they play a lot of man-to-man defense. He suffocates."

Northwestern assistant coach Randy Bates served as the lead recruiter of Watkins. He and head coach Pat Fitzgerald built a strong relationship with Watkins throughout the recruiting process.

"I think they made him very comfortable," said Rodenberg. "They did a great job recruiting him."

The most important selling point of Northwestern for Watkins and his family was the combination of academics, football, and being close to home; in summary, finding the perfect fit. The campus visit closed the deal in making Watkins a Wildcat.

"When they met with the coaches, the latched," said Rodenberg. "They feel comfortable that he can fit in there. That's huge. They're a tight family."

Watkins discusses his commitment in this FOX Sports NEXT feature.

Chris Emma has covered recruiting, college athletics and professional baseball for FOX Sports Next since 2009. Emma covered the Nebraska Cornhuskers for Big Red Report, and currently covers the Northwestern Wildcats and Chicago Cubs. He currently resides on Chicago's north side.
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