University of South Florida defensive back Craig Watts Jr. announced Wednesday night via Twitter that he is transferring from the school.
A consensus four-star recruit coming out of high school, Watts decommitted from Colorado in January 2016 before committing to USF later that month. He was the second best recruit in the 2016 class, according to 247sports, for former head coach Willie Taggart, behind only WR Darnell Salomon.
Watts seemed destined for an expanded role this year after redshirting in 2016 and earning the scout team defensive MVP award, but he couldn’t crack the rotation in a surprisingly deep secondary for the rejuvenated Bulls defense.
He cross-trained at cornerback and safety during spring practice and fall camp as a way to get on the field, but junior cornerback Mazzi Wilkins came out of nowhere to become one of the best cover guys on the roster. True freshman Naytron Culpepper also surpassed him on the depth chart late in the season.
Watts recorded just five tackles in 12 games this year, mostly on special teams.
It’s unclear right now if USF has blocked him from transferring to any schools. Florida State, Oregon, Ohio State and UNC should be among the favorites to land him if he goes straight to a D-1 school.
By our count, USF now has (at least) two scholarships open after the Watts decision.