"I always knew I wanted to go to West Virginia," Brandon Watkins told BlueGoldNews.com shortly after committing to the Mountaineers. "I committed early because I wanted to go ahead and get it out of the way. I knew I was going to go to West Virginia, and there just wasn't any reason to wait any longer."
Watkins doubled up on family pleasure with his announcement, which came on the same weekend his uncle Warren Baker is being inducted into the WVU Sports Hall of Fame.
"He was very excited when I told him I was committing," Watkins said of Baker's reaction. "He was more happy than I was -- he was jumping up and down. He did tell me that he always wanted me to go here, but he also said he would support me no matter where I ended up going. I'm just really happy that I will be at West Virginia."
Watkins plays the center spot for his Grady High School team, but the role envisioned for him at WVU is more of a power forward, similar to that currently manned by Kevin Jones.
"I'm a little more comfortable facing the basket," he said of his game. "I really like facing up to the hoop. I can easily go out to the key and shoot, and I can even shoot threes. I don't do that in our offense, but I can shoot it."
Watkins' athleticism plays into his other strengths on the floor.
"I can run the floor, and I finish above the rim," he said. "I'm a shot blocker, and I am good at playing help side defense. I know I have to work on my strength a lot, and I'll be doing that for the rest of my career."
The second commit in the Class of 2013, Watkins is friends with the other member of that group.
"I've known Nathan Adrian since we were little. We actually went to my uncle's basketball camps together. When he committed a few weeks ago, I sent him a text and told him congratulations, and said something about maybe one day being teammates, and now here we are."