football

Watford looking hard at five

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When it comes time for Christian Watford to make his decision, no one will ever fault him for not doing his research. The 6-foot-7, 215-pound forward from Shades Valley High School in Birmingham, Alabama has been busy on the visit trail and has five more trips on his calendar this fall.
The four-star forward says he doesn't have any official visit dates set up at the moment but he will take trips to Kentucky, Memphis, Louisville, Alabama and Indiana.
He has been to all five schools already but a return visit is important with regards to building a relationship with the coaching staff more than anything, he said.
"That is going to be very important, finding a coach that I can trust and a coach that can trust me. I want to play for someone that will trust me to put the ball in my hands," Watford said.
Watford spent last weekend on Indiana's campus for an elite camp. While in town with his entire family, Watford said he had a chance to talk to Tom Crean more than he ever has.
"It was a great visit. I don't think it could have went any better," Watford said. "I had a chance to talk to coach Crean on a personal level instead of just seeing him and just hollering at him. I got to see guys like D.J. White and Isiah Thomas and guys like that, just getting to sit down and talk. It was all pretty cool.
"They have a real good basketball tradition there and I think coach Crean is going to come in and restore the program. Basically, I just like their tradition. It's Indiana, you know."
With Memphis, Watford pointed out the team's recent success and development with players like him.
"I like coach [John Calipari]. I think he does a real good job of getting his players developed and getting them to the next level," Watford said. "They are always going to have a top notch team and they are always going to compete for a national championship. I think they will always have players and getting them to where they want to be."
Kentucky, Watford says, remains high on his list. The reason?
"Coach [Billy] Gillispie," Watford said. "He's a good guy and a good coach. He's a real good coach in my opinion. He does a good job with his players. He pushes them to get better. With Kentucky, it's about the tradition, too."
The Wildcats' cross state rival Louisville is also very much in the mix, Watford said.
"Coach Pitino is a good coach and like the other coaches, he does a real good job of getting his players to the next level," Watford, the No. 34 ranked player in the class of 2009, said. "He has a lot of NBA resources and he treats his players like they are in the NBA. Louisville has great tradition, too."
Finally, Alabama has the home school advantage. Watford likes the proximity for the Tide program.
"You know Alabama is real close to my house so that is a big plus. It's only 45 minutes away from my house. It's the closest school to me outside of UAB," he said. "They have a real good program down there. They've been winning for a while."
With the five schools on his list, Watford said the recipe for a decision is simple. It will come down to his relationship with the coaching staff.
"Just somebody that I can trust, that's all I'm looking for. I want to play for someone that I can really see myself trusting. I'm just praying and hoping that I can find that."
Watford said he has one in-home visit set up. Indiana will come to his home on Sept. 9. The other in-home visits have not been planned yet, he said.
With the five schools and five visits on the horizon, Watford said he doesn't have a leader heading into the fall period.
"I'm trying to figure that out right now," he said.
Watford said he wants to sign in November. The next step is trying to find the coaching staff he trusts the most.
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