JON KLEINKNECHT Inquirer Sports Editor
November 21, 2013
Dareian Watkins has decommitted from playing football and pursuing an education at Northwestern University.
“He’s been thinking about this for quite a while,” Heath Watkins, Dareian’s father said. “He thought he committed too soon to Northwestern.”
Dareian — a senior at Galion High School and the most heavily recruited athlete in school history — verbally committed to Northwestern in May. Recruits can’t sign letters until February of 2014.
So what are Dareian’s plans?
“It’s safe to say he’s leaning very heavily toward Wisconsin,” stated Heath, who added there may be visits to other schools in the not-so-distant future.
As would be expected, the typically inaccurate rumor mill has been spewing out misinformation that Northwestern’s offer to bring Dareian onboard was revoked when he was suspended prior to Galion’s playoff game against Kenton two weeks ago because he violated the Galion City Schools Athletics Code of Conduct policy.
The parting was mutual. Fitzgerald even encouraged Dareian to “sleep on it” when Dareian informed him he was decommitting. Dareian advised Fitgerald he was going to make a recruiting trip to Wisconsin — a no-no for players who verbally commit to Northwestern. “(The parting) is very amicable,” Heath said. “Dareian and coach (Pat) Fitzgerald had a long phone conversation. Dareian apologized to him.”
Dareian — who accounted for a GHS program record 86 touchdowns as a four-year starter — is a four-star recruit. He received offers from many Division I college programs, including several of the Big Ten schools.