UNC, N.C. State add offensive recruits

Staff WriterJanuary 20, 2009 

N.C. State and UNC picked up offensive line recruits on Sunday, and the U.S. Naval Academy received a commitment from a South Johnston player.

North Carolina continued its dominance in-state with a commitment from Travis Bond, a 6-foot-7, 323-pound offensive tackle from Windsor Bertie, and N.C. State went to Rock Hill, S.C., to get a commitment from Asa Watson, a 6-3, 215-pound tight end.

The commitments are not binding on the schools or the players until players may begin signing national letters of intent on Feb. 4.

Bond, who played in the Shrine Bowl Game of the Carolinas, said he chose the Tar Heels over Michigan, N.C. State and East Carolina. He said UNC offensive line coach Sam Pittman played a role in his decision.

"I had been in a couple of UNC camps and enjoyed being around him," Bond said. "I like the entire coaching staff, but I really like coach Pittman."

Scout.com has Bond ranked among the top 30 offensive tackle prospects in the country and tags him as a three-star player. Rivals rates him as the No. 11 player in North Carolina.

UNC now has commitments from seven of the top 11 in-state players, according to rivals.com.

STATE LANDS SHRINE BOWLER: Watson also played in the Shrine Bowl, for South Carolina, and he has football bloodlines.

His father, Ken Watson, who is now the pastor of Rock Hill Bible Fellowship, played at Maryland in the mid-1970s. Asa's older brother is Ben Watson, a tight end for the New England Patriots who played at Duke one season before transferring to Georgia.

According to his father, Asa Watson chose State over Duke and Maryland and had about 10 major scholarship offers.

Watson said Monday that the State coaching staff told him he could eventually play a "Tiger" or "H-back" position that would allow him to split out wide and play all over the field.

"They really did a good job of explaining how they wanted to use me," Watson said.

Watson is rated as a four-star player by scout.com.

LUCAS PICKS NAVY: Caleb Lucas, a 6-foot, 180-pound defensive back, committed to the U.S. Naval Academy on Sunday while making his official visit in Annapolis, Md.

Lucas was clocked running a 4.38 40-yard dash last spring during a Shrine Bowl combine.

He played wide receiver at South Johnston during his senior season but is expected to play defensive back for Navy.

He chose the Midshipmen over Air Force and Elon.

tim.stevens@newsobserver.com or 919-829-8910

News & Observer is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service