Sting Factor: Winston Watkins Jr.’s decommitment from Texas A&M


When a major program loses a key recruit, Rivals.com takes a look at how big of a blow it is to the respective school, analyzing it from a local and national level. To quantify the “sting” of each decommitment, we assign a score from one to 10, with one being no big deal and 10 being a catastrophic hit.

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STING FACTOR: Collin Dixon’s decommitment from Wisconsin

CLASS OF 2023 RANKINGS: Rivals250 | Team | Position | State

CLASS OF 2024 RANKINGS: Rivals250 | Team | Position | State

CLASS OF 2025 RANKINGS: Rivals100

TRANSFER PORTAL: Stories/coverage | Message board

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THE STORYLINE

Five days before Christmas at the FBU Freshman All-American Bowl, 2025 wide receiver Winston Watkins Jr. committed to Texas A&M over Florida State, Florida and others.

It was an early commitment for someone from Fort Myers, Fla., who is now playing at Bradenton (Fla.) IMG Academy. But it was also really important since Watkins could easily end up as a five-star prospect and the top-rated receiver in his class.

The sophomore leads IMG – which also features five-star receiver Carnell Tate and Miami tight end pledge Riley Williams – in touchdown catches. This past summer at the Rivals Underclassmen Challenge, Watkins showed off his dynamic playmaking ability as one of the best players at the entire event.

But in recent days, Watkins decided to back off his pledge to the Aggies. Throughout the struggle of Texas A&M’s season, Watkins stayed steadfast in his pledge but did take other visits. On Friday, Watkins said he’s just trying to make sure he sees all his options.

The IMG 2025 receiver already has nearly 20 offers. Ohio State, which is a breeding ground for elite receivers, has been reaching out a lot along with Clemson, where his cousin, Sammy Watkins, starred before going to the NFL.

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LOCAL REACTION

Simply put, losing a 2025 commit, no matter how talented, is not a big deal two years out. The Aggies have much bigger fish to fry and, honestly, when was the last time a commitment stuck for three years? It was expected Watkins would look around and reconsider and he did. That’s not a slight to A&M, that’s just the simple reality of how recruiting works. – Mark Passwaters, AggieYell.com

Sting factor: 2

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NATIONAL REACTION

I don’t want to be overdramatic and there are more than two years left before Watkins can sign with a team but this decommitment is pretty serious for numerous reasons. No one has any faith in Texas A&M’s offense this season as it’s second-to-last in the SEC, there could be a lot of locker room turmoil going on there and Watkins is one of the best receivers nationally, regardless of class.

He’s undersized but Watkins is insanely fast and dynamic through his routes. He’s a highlight-reel waiting to happen and he’s a playmaker with a serious dog mentality who’s out to prove himself on every snap. He’s the exact type of receiver A&M needs and now the Aggies are playing from behind for him.

If Watkins was in the 2024 class, this would be closer to a nine on the sting factor rating. – Adam Gorney, National Recruiting Director

Sting factor: 7

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