Watson, before a boxing training session. Photo taken Summer 2011.
Menelik Watson, one of the top JUCO offensive line recruits in the country, has committed to the Florida State Seminoles over the Auburn Tigers. He plays for Saddleback College in Mission Viejo, California.
"He committed yesterday, to coach Trickett to be exact. He can't want to get on campus and get started as he knows he has catching up to do. He played two years for me at the Canarias Basketball Academy in Spain. He was my team captain and one of the best kids I've ever been around. Coach Trickett told him the difference between his first and last game at Saddleback was amazing. Jimbo was out there to see him as well, and felt the same way (that the physical set Menelik had, very few people in All of football had!)," said Rob Orellana, Watson's basketball coach and close friend from his playing days in Spain.
[Watson's phone got shut off, and he was unavailable for comment. Orellana, who is extremely close to Watson, assured me that Watson did want the info out and was not trying to keep it a secret.]
Watson is rated three or four-stars by most recruiting services, and also holds offers from Cal, Oregon, Oklahoma, and Rutgers. He is an athletic freak. A former basketball player at Marist University, he left college basketball to pursue a career in football. Watson is 6'7", 330 pounds and has incredibly light feet for a man of his size, thanks to playing soccer growing up in England.
As you can see from his film, he does not have a lot of football experience. But oh, that athleticism. If ever there was a kid with athletic ability that a coach would want to mold into a player, this is the guy. Watson has the long arms that one would expect him to have, and does not appear to be sloppy from the photos I have seen. With Watson, Florida State will have six upperclassmen offensive linemen, and a total of 14 offensive linemen who are in their second year of eligibility or greater.
Here's some film on Watson. And inside, find more film on Watson.