Jay Watkins had a bad summer and he won't lie and say otherwise. The 6-foot-7, 205-pound small forward from Hamilton High School in Memphis, Tenn., didn't play the way he wanted in his final go round on the AAU circuit. The three-star prospect is headed into his senior season with a new mindset and hopes of seeing his recruitment return to what it once was.
"It was a bad summer, just bad," Watkins said. "My first AAU team, the Arkansas Angels had some problems and then we didn't play in July. Then at the ABCD camp I had a team with a lot of guards that were kind of selfish. I had to play out of position and stayed in the post."
The summer wasn't all a wash for the versatile and athletic wing. While living with his mother who lives in Phoenix, he spent time with Anthony Ray's Arizona Magic club in July. At the Big Time, Watkins showed off his great athleticism and ability to attack from the wing all the while being a force inside the paint as an interior scorer, defender and rebounder.
"I just had a good time with those guys. They had great players and good coaches. It was just a better atmosphere."
Fast-forwarding a couple of months, Watkins is looking forward to another competitive year in the MIAA league.
"I'm very pumped for the season. I'm using the summer as my motivation. My coach (Keelon Lawson) told me to just trust him and that he'd get the schools in to see me," Watkins said. "I know if they come to my school, I'll be able to show them what I can do.
"I feel like I have something to prove. A lot of schools that were there recruiting me fell off because of the way things happened this year. I want to get them back."
Schools are still there. Watkins said he's holding offers from Fresno State, Mississippi State, San Francisco, Tennessee and Virginia. Mississippi State and Virginia stopped by to see him and his teammate Jeremy Williams on Wednesday while Tennessee stopped by on Tuesday.
Watkins said he has tentative plans to visit Virginia on Sept. 30 but the date has not been finalized. At any rate, he said, "I'm definitely going to visit them."
He will officially visit San Francisco this weekend, making his first ever trip to the home of Lombard Street, the Golden Gate Bridge and Pac Bell Park.
Even with a concrete visit on tap and a trip to an ACC school, Watkins said he may hold off committing and signing this fall.
"At first, I wanted sign early. That was always my plan. I had a great 10th grade year but since my bad to mediocre summer and with the schools that backed off, I want to have good year to bring them back," Watkins said. "I'll probably wait until after the season to do anything."