Olney (Md.) Good Counsel defensive end Ryan Watson took his first two official visits of the process to Pittsburgh and Purdue earlier this month. One of those schools rose to the top of his list following the visits, and this week the four-star prospect decided to make that commitment.
"I verbally committed to Purdue just yesterday," Watson reported. "I called Coach [Gary] Emanuel and he was really excited. It was right after the bowl game, so he told all the other coaches."
The 6-3, 270-pound Watson was also considering schools like Pitt, Georgia Tech and Maryland, but several factors made Purdue stand out to the four-star prospect.
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"Mainly it was Coach Emmanuel. He's a good coach and I've known him for awhile," Watson said. "It was also the atmosphere. I've got to live there and it's a good atmosphere and real good people. The area around it is real communal, and that really surprised me."
Watson has plans to study Biology in college, and specifically Molecular Biology. The opportunity to play in the Big Ten intrigues him, but the chance to study at Purdue University was the deciding factor in his commitment.
"When you graduate from Purdue it is a real good degree, so that is another thing," Watson said. "Going in and getting my degree and getting my education is what I am mainly looking at."
The commitment came while Watson was in College Park, Md., preparing for Friday night's Chesapeake Bowl. He is one of three Good Counsel prospects on the South roster, and is enjoying the experience.
"You hear about these people who are really good, then when you come here you get to see them, learn from them and find out they were good people," Watson said.
One of Watson's teammates playing in the Chesapeake Bowl alongside him this week is defensive end Roderick Chungong, who is committed to Georgia Tech. Watson had previously agreed to take an official visit to Georgia Tech before his commitment to Purdue, and still plans to follow through with that trip the weekend of Jan. 13.