If Leilehua High defensive back Charles “Moku” Watson had to make a college choice right here and right now, he said: “It would be UH.”
“I built a real strong bond,” Watson added. “For the most part, staying home and rebuilding the process is something I want to do.”
But Watson, who lives with relatives in Wahiawa, said he won’t make a decision until after he returns from a three-week trip to California on June 28.
“I know I’m always going to keep my options open,” said Watson, who will be a senior this coming academic year.
He also has received scholarship offers from Colorado, Fresno State, Oregon State, San Diego State, Vanderbilt and Washington State.
“I talked to my family, and I think I have a commitment date set in the summer,” Watson said. “Before the season, I want to commit to where I want to go.”
Aug. 1 is the first day of Leilehua’s fall semester.
Watson has impressed recruiters with his size (6 feet 2 1/2 and 183 pounds), speed (hand-timed 4.4 seconds and laser-timed 4.52 seconds in the 40-yard dash), and athleticism (34-inch vertical jump and 32 1/2-foot kneeling-powerball toss). He was named to the Star-Advertiser’s 2015 All-State second team.
Watson said he was told he could compete at cornerback at UH. Vanderbilt projects Watson as a outside linebacker/strong safety.
“Certain schools want me for certain things,” Watson said. “I don’t have a problem playing any position as long as I get used to it and can work on my craft.”
Watson, whose ancestry is Samoan and African-American, goes by Moku, which is derived from his middle name of Moutonu.
He was born in Hawaii, then moved to Vallejo, Calif., when he was 3. A little more than six years later,he moved to Wahiawa. He began playing padded football when he was in middle school, although he has played some form of football most of his life.
Watson said he has an interest in acting, and “I always wanted to be a real-estate agent.” He helps an uncle sell T-shirts at the Aloha Stadium swap meet.
“I try to keep busy,” Watson said.