Originally Posted by Omniscience
Whats the article on ESPN say about his recruitment
Some were scratching their heads when Tennessee decided to offer running back Quenshaun Watson a scholarship, one he quickly scooped up.
Watson only had one scholarship offer – Indiana – and wasn't highly recruited.
So why did the Volunteers offer him?
Speed was certainly a factor. Watson is a strong track star and has run the 100 meters in 10.56 seconds – a more than respectable time. Still, Watson is undersized, at about 5-foot-9 and 165 pounds. However, Tennessee has traveled this road before.
The Vols took a similar chance on another small speedster last year: Devrin Young from Knoxville (Tenn.) Bearden. Despite being sidelined with a fractured collarbone during much of preseason camp, Young became the Vols' leading kick and punt returner in 2011, averaging 11.8 yards per punt return and 23.3 yards per kick return as a freshman.
So, other than size, why didn't other schools offer Watson?
Academics were the concern, according to an SEC coach with knowledge of Watson's recruitment.
Which leads the debate over whether or not to offer Watson to this: What did Tennessee coach Derek Dooley and his staff knew about Watson's academic status?
The answer – probably a lot.
Dooley attended the same high school as Watson, Clarke Central in Athens, Ga. Dooley still has strong ties there. No doubt he did his homework on Watson's academic situation and character from people he knows and trusts at the school.
So don't be surprised if Watson becomes academically eligible for the 2012 season. And don't be surprised if he contributes for the Vols during his career, especially considering Tennessee's average talent level.
If not, Watson will try to become eligible via prep school or junior college and could still contribute later.
The only downside to taking Watson could be that he could scare off other higher-rated tailbacks in the 2012 class. That probably won't happen. Bigger tailbacks will look at Watson's size and feel pretty confident in their own skill set.
But ultimately, as is the case in all scholarship offers, academics won't determine whether or not the Vols took a good gamble.
The only real payoff will be if Watson can truly play at the SEC level. Tennessee coaches apparently believe he can.
If not, there will be even more head scratching in Knoxville.