East St. Louis (Ill.) linebacker Kyron Watson was apparently wavering in his longtime commitment to the Kansas Jayhawks, but has decided to stick with his pledge ($) to head coach Charlie Weis and his staff.
Committed to Kansas since May of 2013, Watson took an official visit to Syracuse last week and had a planned trip to Illinois upcoming, but the journey to see the Orange wasn't enough to get him to flip his commitment and the 6-1, 225-pounder has cancelled the visit to Illinois.
A consensus three-star prospect, Watson is ranked as the No. 31 inside linebacker nationally, the No. 15 player in the state of Illinois, and the No. 380 player in the country by the 247Sports Composite rankings. He holds offers from Cincinnati, Indiana, Iowa State, Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Missouri, Purdue, and TCU. The pledge to Kansas was considered an upset at the time by the industry, as he was widely expected to chose Michigan.
A vicious hitter who can bend, wrap up, explode, and finish ballcarriers with evil intentions, Watson also has a nose for the football and enough speed to compete in a spread league that values range perhaps above all else. He also forces turnovers with multiple interceptions and forced fumbles as a junior. Watson comes downhill fast and hard and although he may have some trouble at the college level when he will have to deal with blockers more often, in high school his initial quickness is so good that he can get into the backfield unimpeded.
All those traits and the aforementioned ranking of Watson as the second highest-rated commit in the class for Kansas and the top-rated defender make his retention in the class an extremely important development for the Jayhawks -- the class already ranks near the bottom of the Big 12 at No. 9 in the conference by the 247Sports Composite team rankings, so Kansas can't afford to take many hits with this group.
Fortunately for Weis and company, Watson will be doing his hitting in Lawrence after all.