SPARTANBURG, S.C. - If you ask South Carolina standout defensive end Dekoda Watson about how he wants his high school career to end, he'll not only talk about making sure his name is out there but that he makes sure everyone knows about his hometown of Aiken, S.C. when the annual Shrine Bowl has concluded.
With a week of practices ahead, the 6-foot-2, 206-pound three-star defensive end knows that he would like to see his Division I offer count increase from two (North Carolina and Kentucky) to numerous more. Overall, the No. 16 rated weakside defensive end is just proud of where his high school career has taken him.
"Being in the Shrine Bowl is a blessing and an honor," Watson said about his selection to the annual game. "I never thought about being in this, so when I got the call that I was selected I was really shocked. It's amazing. It's really hard to put into words."
"I'm playing for so many reasons. I want to do well but I want people to remember Aiken. It's my town, my school, and my home."
With a pair offers in hand and several players expecting to increase that number during this week, Watson is hoping to see some from the schools that have been calling lately.
"I've gotten some calls from South Carolina and Virginia Tech, so I'm hoping that maybe it turns into something," Watson said. "Right now, I've got one official visit set to North Carolina for Jan. 13 and that's really all. They are the closest and they're recruiting me pretty hard, so I set it up."
As his high school season finished, Watson believed that it would be like his junior and sophomore seasons. Word of his talent got around and that made it a very tough campaign.
"Players hear more about me and I have more double teams to deal with," he said. "I could do more as a junior when they didn't know me. I think with all of that, I did okay overall. So now, this event is really to have fun. It's my last high school game with high school players, and I just want to enjoy this."
Watson is rated as the No. 10 overall prospect in the state of South Carolina.