Galion (Ohio) class of 2014 athlete Dareian Watkins is certainly no stranger to the scholarship offer process. He held five before this weekend, yet he was not expecting to emerge from yesterday's visit with his second Big Ten offer.
"Yesterday I got a surprise offer from Northwestern," Watkins reported. "We went there for the Vanderbilt game and when we were eating one of the coaches pulled us out and said he wanted me to go meet the head coach out on the field. When we went out there he told me he wanted to offer me a full ride, so that was pretty exciting.
"I wasn't expecting an offer. I was expecting: 'This is the first time we've met you and we'd like to keep in contact,' so the offer was a great way to start off the weekend."
This weekend was the first time Watkins has visited Evanston and the Ohio native came away with a positive impression of the Northwestern campus.
"It was interesting because we parked a mile and a half away from the stadium and started walking," Watkins said. "We were thinking it was like a home feeling because you can walk down the streets of campus and it was like walking down the streets of Galion. I kind of got that warm, welcoming feeling. Then, their campus has their own beach and that would be something to look forward to."
According to Watkins, Northwestern's offer is for the quarterback position. The 6-foot-2, 192-pound Watkins has played quarterback and wide receiver for his Galion High team this fall and is being recruited for both positions.
"Lately I have been really wanting to play receiver because I enjoy receiver. It is fun and comes natural," Watkins said. "At quarterback I have the ball every play and the game is more hands, so I like that too."
Besides Northwestern, Watkins has also picked up offers from Illinois, Akron, Bowling Green, Ohio and Toledo. Watkins expects to take a visit to Illinois later this month, but first he will travel to Michigan State this coming weekend to see the Spartans host Notre Dame.
Watkins started off the college season by making a visit to Louisville last Sunday to see the Cardinals host Kentucky.
"It was a fun trip other than the rain," Watkins said. "I got to meet their coaches finally and they said they think I can really help out their team. They said they were hoping I could come down again sometime."
Watkins has helped Galion get out to a 2-1 start to the 2012 season. He is coming off a sophomore year in which he threw for 1,256 yards and 16 touchdowns and rushed for another 559 yards and ten scores.