It’s official — Illinois football has added another talented prospect to their 2017 recruiting class. Three-star offensive lineman Howard Watkins (OH) will be suiting up for the Orange and Blue next Fall after giving a verbal commitment on social media. Watkins is currently rated as the nation’s No. 1087 overall prospect by 247Sports.
Watkins selected Illinois over other Power 5 scholarship offers from Louisville, Cincinnati, Indiana, Iowa State, and Rutgers. The 6-foot-5, 280-pound Ohio native has submitted a National Letter of Intent, meaning he’ll be able to enroll early and participate in Spring practice.
Watkins’ Twitter account is set to ‘private’, so we can’t embed his actual announcement. But here’s the text that accompanied the tweet:
“First off I would like to thank God who is the head of my life and without him none of this is possible. Secondly I would like to thank my wonderful parents for all that they have done for me. I would also like to all of my coaches for making me a better person and athlete. I would like to thank all my teammates for making me a better teammate. I would also like to thank all the colleges who gave me offers and that have recruited me. With that being said, I will be enrolling early to the University of Illinois.”
Including JUCO commits, Watkins is the fourteenth member of Illinois’ recruiting class; he’ll be joining fellow three-star prospects Larry Boyd (MO) and Vederian Lowe (IL) in the trenches for the next 4-5 seasons. Lovie Smith has previously stated that the program will aim to fill all 25 available scholarships, so there will likely be at least one more addition to that group ahead of Signing Day.