The recruiting process has exploded for Cincinnati (Ohio) Moeller running back Keith Watkins in the last few weeks. The 5-11, 175-pound prospect has picked up eight offers, including one from West Virginia on Thursday.
"I just got off the phone with the coaches [at West Virginia] about an hour ago," Watkins said Thursday night. "I really didn't know they were going to offer. I had talked to the coach on Facebook Sunday, then today my coach told me to give them a call.
"I was really excited because that's the kind of offense I like. I've been playing in the spread offense since I was little, so I feel I can fit right into the offense.
"They are a new team, but I have been to their campus. I play basketball as well and over the summer we had a team camp down at West Virginia and stayed on the campus."
Watkins also added an offer from Akron this week, and had received them from Boston College, Cincinnati, Kentucky, Minnesota, Northwestern and Ohio in the weeks preceding.
"It's a lot, this college experience and being recruited, but I still have to keep my head focused," Watkins said. "I'm just blessed to have this opportunity, but my options are all still open. I will talk to my family and see how everything goes."
At this stage of the process, Watkins is focused on finding out as much as he can about each program that has shown interest. Seeing the college campuses in-person is a big part of those evaluations.
"I visited Kentucky last week and I felt really comfortable down there," Watkins said. "I liked the campus and I liked how the coaches talked to me. They made me feel that I could talk to them about grades or things going on family-wise."
Watkins has also visited the two in-state BCS programs recently, and has developed a good feel for each of those teams.
"UC I have a good relationship with them and Coach [Kerry] Combs," Watkins said. "I visited Ohio State and I really liked them as well. The other schools I haven't visited yet, so when I take the visits I'll see how everything goes.
"I was supposed to go to Michigan State this weekend, but I play basketball as well and our first tournament game is this Saturday. So, I won't be able to make it up there, and I'll have to talk with the coaches and see if I can come up there another time.
"I am going to try to get to West Virginia soon and Illinois as well. [Illinois] wants me to come up for one of their spring practices."
This past season, Watkins rushed for over 700 yards and totaled 450 kick return yards with 22 total touchdowns.