The Hurry-Up: Four-Star 2025 Wideout Winston Watkins Jr. Enjoys Visit from Brian Hartline, Ohio State Offers 2026 Running Back Amari Latimer

By Garrick Hodge on January 31, 2024 at 5:30 pm
Winston Watkins

Brian Hartline stopped in Florida to check on one of Ohio State’s top wide receiver targets in the 2025 class last week.

Four-star prospect Winston Watkins Jr. relished the opportunity to speak with Hartline in person and confirmed he still has a high interest in Ohio State.  

“It was great, we were just catching up and he was trying to see where my head was,” Watkins told Eleven Warriors of his visit from Hartline last Thursday

Watkins, a former Colorado commit, was offered by OSU in June of 2022 after impressing Hartline and Ryan Day at an Ohio State recruiting camp. In the last few months, the 5-foot-10, 172-pound prospect has had consistent contact with the Buckeyes. 

“I would just say getting developed by the best,” Watkins said when asked what the most appealing thing is about potentially playing for OSU is. “I talk to coach Hartline probably every other day. 

Watkins, considered the 126th-best prospect and the 17th-rated wideout in the 2025 cycle, hasn’t scheduled his next trip to Columbus but said he hopes to be back in the near future.

“I don't have any visits planned but I'm looking forward to setting something up,” Watkins said. 

The Florida prospect maintains he doesn’t have a clear leader in his recruitment right now and that he’s committed to taking his time throughout the process. Watkins said he doesn’t envision he’ll commit until National Signing Day, so OSU will have plenty of time to make a favorable impression on the highly coveted playmaker. 

Watkins recorded 61 catches for 1,170 yards and 13 touchdowns in his junior year for First Baptist Academy (Naples, Florida). He also had success as a kick and punt returner and ran for 51 yards on 14 carries with two rushing touchdowns.

Amari Latimer picks up OSU offer

Running backs coach Tony Alford stopped in Georgia on Tuesday to extend an offer to promising 2026 tailback Amari Latimer

Latimer doesn’t hold a composite ranking as of yet but holds more than 20 Division I offers, including Arizona, Arkansas, Auburn, Florida, Florida State, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Indiana, Jacksonville State, Kentucky, Miami, Ole Miss, South Carolina, Texas, UCF, Vanderbilt, Washington and Wisconsin. 

The 6-foot, 195-pound Latimer had a standout sophomore season for Sandy Creek (Tyrone, Georgia), running for 1,400 yards on 181 carries with 17 rushing touchdowns. He also caught 17 passes for 151 yards and a receiving touchdown. A two-way player who also plays linebacker, Latimer also recorded 58 tackles (1 for loss) in 2023.


Buckeyes visit Elijah Barnes, Nate Roberts, Tarvos Alford

With the final week of the active period in full swing, OSU coaches are wasting no time making their recruiting efforts count. 

In the past few days, the Buckeyes have visited some priority targets in the 2025 class, including tight end Nate Roberts and linebackers Elijah Barnes and Tarvos Alford

Keenan Bailey has made no reservation that Roberts is his top tight end target in the 2025 class, with Ryan Day and Hartline joining Bailey on Tuesday's visit. Roberts visited OSU on Jan. 20 and plans to visit Oregon this weekend. The Buckeyes are in a contested battle with the Ducks for their most coveted tight end target in the 2025 class. 

Jim Knowles and James Laurinaitis saw Alford on Thursday, making it the second time OSU has gone to see the Florida linebacker this month. Day and Laurinaitis previously visited Alford on Jan. 16. Alford, who is at the top of the Buckeyes’ wish list at linebacker, plans to return to Columbus in the spring. 

“It was a great visit,” Alford told Eleven Warriors of the Jan. 16 visit. “I really appreciate coach Day coming down. I know there’s a lot of people he could have seen instead of me, so I appreciated that. Coach Laurinaitis, I was also just glad he was able to come down. That’s my guy. So it was great seeing him again.”

Day, Knowles and Laurinaitis visited Barnes in Texas on Wednesday, making him the second top-100 linebacker they visited this week along with Alford. Barnes was offered by OSU on May 10. 

“The offer was a blessing,” Barnes told Eleven Warriors in May. “I was excited because I know how big this opportunity is getting an offer from a big-time school. Coach Knowles came up here and offered me, he said that I was the type of person for their defense and that I’m the type of kid he wants to coach and that he wants to build a relationship with me.”

View 11 Comments