Southfield (Mich.) athlete Brandon Watkins is being recruited on both sides of the football, but the 5-11, 185-pound prospect is much more interested in playing offense than defense in college and that has altered how he looks at the schools recruiting him.
Iowa, Bowling Green and Toledo each offered Watkins in the spring and he named the Hawkeyes as his leader right before summer began. Entering the fall, though, Watkins is not sure whether Iowa is the right fit for him.
"I've been trying to keep in touch with Coach Parker," Watkins said. "I'm not totally moving away from them, but I really want to play offense so I have to keep my options open and see who shows interest after this season. They said they strictly want me as a defensive back."
Likewise, Watkins is taking a look at his offers from the two MAC programs to see if they fit his plan for the future.
"They were both talking offense, but now Bowling Green has decided they want me for defense," Watkins said. "They have given one or two other scholarships to other kids at running back."
Watkins expects more options to come to the fore following his senior season. He has been in contact with other BCS programs and knows coaches will be watching this fall.
"I've been talking to Vanderbilt a lot lately," Watkins said. "They want to see a couple of games before they make a decision, but they want me to play wide receiver or running back. Coach [Bob] Shoop, the safeies coach, said I could also make the transition to defense and he wants to see some game film on me at corner and safety.
"I could have an offer from Northwestern, but I need to get a 21 on my ACT. I've been speaking with Coach [Matt] MacPherson and he wants me to be able to qualify. My science score was a 24, so I just need to get the rest of my scores up to get that 21."
Watkins has not scheduled any official visits for the fall, but he has been talking with several Big Ten programs about making game day visits. Michigan State assistant Brad Salem has been in contact and Watkins expects to make it to East Lansing at some point this fall. He also mentioned possible trips to Iowa and Northwestern.
Watkins played in just four games as a junior, but rushed for 444 yards and six touchdowns in limited action. He will start at both running back and cornerback this fall for Southfield High.