Few recruits have had their recruitment be more mysterious than West Memphis (Arkansas) guard DeShun Watkins. Back on July 1, 2010, the Shiver.com (a Kansas site) reported that Watkins backed out of his commitment with the Missouri Tigers and was drawing interest from Kansas, UTEP, Missouri, Kentucky, and Texas A&M. My post here led to some confusion because most Missouri fans had never heard of him and weren't aware of his initial commitment to begin with. Was it possible Watkins was "faking" his recruitment like the kid in Nevada did a few years ago?
Apparently not because he mysteriously appeared on UTEP's roster in the last few days.
It's highly unusual for a recruit that is generating interest from Kansas and Kentucky to not have a Rivals page either. Watkins does have a page on Scout and MaxPreps but they are dry of any useful information other than height/weight. ESPN knows he's 6'4 and 175 but never scouted him either so he doesn't have a number or star grade. Is he truly a hidden gem?
Hell, I didn't know he was on the roster until Miner Mike caught it and mentioned it in the comments. (Mike you broke the story!)
So, perhaps it's fitting that the "recruitment" of DeShun Watkins concluded with UTEP very quietly placing him on their official roster for the 2010-2011 season. To keep the mystery alive, his official bio is completely blank. UTEP never released a press release announcing he joined the team either.
I'd love to say I know anything about Watkins game, but I can't find any highlights on YouTube either. Could be be the next Randy Culpepper or Julyan Stone? Absolutely. Is it possible he'll be the next Parker Vandivort? With Watkins, anything is possible.
According to the Shiver article, Watkins is the nephew of Kenny Pratt who played under Floyd at Iowa State. He told them:
"Coach Floyd, I’m very familiar with. He coached my uncle at Iowa State," said Watkins.
We'll see if we can get more information on him in the coming days. If he really did commit to Missouri, then he clearly has some talent and can run the floor because we all know Mizzou runs in a Nolan Richardson style offense. If my math is correct, Michael Perez received Myron Strong's scholarship so I'm guessing that Watkins is a walk-on right now. But, like everything else, that's just a guess.
[Note by Adrian Mac, 09/20/10 10:36 PM CDT ]
I found an article in the Memphis Commercial Appeal that briefly mentions Watkins. It seems he led West Arkansas High to the Arkansas 6A State Championship and was the teams leading scorer during the second half of the season. In the state championship game, Watkins scored 15 points.