Emerging Wide Receiver Winston Watkins Jr. Picks Up Ohio State Offer, Four OSU Commits Work Out Together During Buckeyes' Third Camp

By Garrick Hodge on June 7, 2022 at 7:46 pm
Winston Watkins Jr.
Winston Watkins Jr.

For the second straight day, a young wide receiver stole the show at Ohio State’s recruiting camps.

Chris Henry Jr. impressed Ryan Day and Brian Hartline enough on Monday to earn an Ohio State offer. On Tuesday, it was 2025 wideout Winston Watkins Jr.’s turn to take center stage and leave Columbus with an offer in hand. 

“It felt great, it felt like all the hard work I did paid off,” Watkins Jr. told Eleven Warriors. “It was definitely a top school for me in my recruitment and I’m just very appreciative of the offer.”

Watkins Jr., who was the lone offer of the day, impressed Hartline with his soft hands and smooth route running. He also made what could arguably be considered the best catch of any recruiting camp so far in one-on-one drills. 

The 5-foot-10, 172-pound prospect picked up his OSU offer shortly after camp concluded following a meeting with Hartline and Day. Watkins Jr. was the second player in the entire 2025 class to commit after he gave his verbal to Texas A&M in December, so OSU will have to flip him if it hopes to land the potential future five-star talent. 

While most participants at recruiting camps are uncommitted players hoping to get noticed, Ohio State also welcomed five of its 2023 commits to campus on Tuesday: Luke Montgomery, Austin Siereveld, Will Smith Jr., Joshua Padilla and Ty Lockwood. Justin Frye and Kevin Wilson held a combined workout with Montgomery, Siereveld, Padilla and Lockwood before the rest of the campers had their afternoon session, while Lockwood also went through a full workout with the tight end group and the three offensive linemen also had a group session with Frye.

“It was good,” Lockwood said of working out with his fellow commits. “I’ve been talking to those guys a whole lot and have a couple of group chats with them. So it’s good to get out there with them and compete. See what they’re like and they see what I’m like, so we can match our speeds and get closer to each other.” 

Lockwood also made Buckeye fans on social media perk up when he said he's actively campaigning for five-star 2023 wideout Brandon Inniss to join him in Columbus. 

Smith Jr. did not work out at Tuesday’s camp after cramping up at the end of Monday’s session, but still made the trip to Ohio State for his third camp in seven days to support the other defensive linemen and continue learning from Larry Johnson. 

Watkins Jr. wasn’t the only big-time 2025 recruit on campus Tuesday. Florida safety DJ Pickett, who picked up an OSU offer in late April, was also in Columbus to work on his craft. Pickett’s offer sheet is certainly impressive, with more than 35 Division I offers already to his name entering his sophomore year. He showed why colleges are a big believer in his abilities in one-on-ones, undercutting a route and picking off a pass. 

OSU also worked out another premier safety Tuesday in four-star Texas prospect Maurice Williams, a top-50 player in the 2024 cycle. Williams showed impressive quickness in defensive back drills but has not yet received an offer from the Buckeyes. An interesting tidbit: despite his Texas roots, Williams said he loves the snow and prefers to attend school somewhere up north. 

One of the fastest-rising Ohio quarterbacks in the 2025 class turned some heads at OSU’s camp Tuesday. Tavien St. Clair, a 6-foot-3, 190-pound 2025 quarterback from Bellefontaine, showcased a strong arm during the afternoon throwing session. St. Clair holds offers from Tennessee, Iowa State, Pittsburgh and Central Michigan and could be a name to keep an eye on moving forward.

Several offensive linemen who could also emerge as Ohio State targets participated in Tuesday’s camp, including Columbus product Jordan Hall, who camped with the Buckeyes for a second straight day. The 6-foot-8, 340-pound 2023 offensive tackle will camp yet again with Ohio State next week in hopes of earning an offer from the Buckeyes. 

2024 three-star Indiana prospect Ransom McDermott certainly looks like he has the frame to play offensive tackle collegiately at 6-foot-7 and 270 pounds. But McDermott acknowledged he currently plays tight end for his high school, so shuffling to tackle will be a bit of a transition. He’ll keep working on his craft in hopes of earning an OSU offer even though one did not come Tuesday.

In-state interior offensive lineman Jake Cook worked out with OSU on Tuesday not necessarily expecting an offer but hoping to improve his technique in drills. In the two-and-a-half-hour morning session, Cook believes he accomplished his goal. The 6-foot-4, 290-pound 2025 prospect said he had a successful first day of camp and will look to build on that performance when he comes back to Columbus for a second camp on June 21. 

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