With the final pieces set to fall in place over the next few weeks, the focus from college coaches will shift from the 2020 recruiting class to 2021. Kentucky already has their eyes on several prospects, including some potential reclassifications, but a new name has now joined that list.
Peyton Watson is a 6-7 wing out of Long Beach, California and is the #1 player in the state for his class. Watson is one of the fastest risers in 2021 as he’s climbed up as high as #11 in 247 Sports’ rankings.
While his recruitment has been dominated mostly by west coast schools, the national powerhouses are starting to get involved. Per Jake Weingarten at Stockrisers, the Wildcats are the newest team to be involved with Watson as assistant coach Kenny Payne reportedly reached out and had a friendly conversation to get the ball rolling.
Just completed my interview with five-star junior Peyton Watson, to be posted tomorrow morning on @Stockrisers. He said he’s still being prioritized by the Pac-12, Gonzaga, Arkansas, Texas Tech, Texas, Virginia, Georgetown, others.— Jake (@jakeweingarten) March 29, 2020
In addition, a new team is involved: Kentucky.
247 Sports’ Josh Gershon compared him to NBA player Justin Holiday while projecting Watson as a future first-round draft pick.
Described as a “modern” wing, Watson is exactly the kind of player John Calipari loves to have in his system as he’s positionless. With the ability to attack off the dribble, post up with his size and knock down shots from deep, Watson is versatile on the perimeter as he can attack the defense in multiple ways. When comparing his style of play, names like Paul George and Jayson Tatum have been thrown around.
There’s plenty of uncertainty about how recruiting will be conducted for the next little bit, but Watson’s recruitment seems to be a west coast race as of now. Still, with more national attention coming his way and a potential jump into the top ten of his class, the idea that he would only play out west for college might fall apart as those big names continue to come knocking. Kentucky has made contact at the very least and we’ll have to wait and see how much interaction Cal has with Watson as his recruitment moves forward.