Texas reeled in their first defensive back commit of the 2019 class with the verbal pledge of 4-star Kenyatta Watson. The Georgia product is ranked as the 11th best safety in the country (187th overall), according to the 247composite rankings.
After signing an historic defensive back class in 2018, Texas had the opportunity to be selective on who to pursue in the 2019 class. Watson was offered back in November while he was committed to Florida State. The commitment did not last though, as Watson de-committed from the Seminoles in January, and proceeded to visit Austin in late February. In early March, Watson named a final two of Texas and Notre Dame, with Texas set to host him on an official visit the weekend of April 27th. Following the official visit, Watson ultimately chose to shut down his recruitment and pledge to the Longhorns, giving Tom Herman another key piece of the 2019 class.
Name: Kenyatta Watson
High School: Grayson
City & State: Loganville,GA
40-yard time: 4.50
No stats available.
- Plays very physical. He is not afraid to get up close to the scrimmage and disrupt the timing and rhythm of a receiver. In the run game, Watson shows a good nose for the football and isn’t afraid to fight through blockers
- Reliable open-field tackler. Shows the ability to tackle in space and take good angles to the ball carrier. His tape shows him reading several screen plays well and making an open field tackle
- Possesses quick hips and good length as a corner. Stays with receivers well and rarely gets beat deep
- Very athletic and multiple. Watson has the speed to play sideline to sideline, while having the athleticism to play pretty much anywhere in the secondary.
- Impressive special teams player. Played on both punt block and field goal block, where he used his speed off the edge to disrupt kicks. Will almost assuredly be a special teams contributor early in his career.
- Needs to show a little better awareness with the ball in the air. There were times where balls that should have been picked off ended up as PBU.
- There are questions about whether he is a safety or a corner. He probably has the frame to tack on a couple extra pounds, which could lead to his future being at safety.
The first thing that stands out about Watson when turning on his film is his length. At 6’2, he uses his length both at the line of scrimmage and in coverage. Watson is no stranger to press coverage, and he isn’t afraid to get physical with receivers, re-routing them at the line and throwing off their timing. In the run game, Watson shows the ability to make open field tackles and be a solid run defender.
The biggest question for Watson has he heads into college is what position best suits him long term. Texas appears to be recruiting him as a corner, and he has the skills to be successful, but his best long term position may end up being safety. Regardless of where he ends up, his quick hips, good length and physicality help him profile well at any of the defensive back positions.
The 2019 defensive back class in the state of Texas is not as strong as the 2018 class, so it is not surprising Tom Herman opted to look at some out-of-state players. Watson’s father mentioned early in the process that current Texas TE Reese Leitao is cousins with Kenyatta, so it certainly did not hurt to have a family tie to Austin. Many pegged Watson as a Notre Dame lean early in the process, but Tom Herman once again worked his magic. The Longhorns now have 2 big out-of-state commits, with Watson joining California LB De’Gabriel Floyd.
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