The outlook for Georgia Tech’s 2019 signing class took a drastic hit Sunday evening when Buford High star Marcus Watson announced that he will play for Oklahoma State. Watson, a four-star guard (247 Sports composite), had been a high priority for coach Josh Pastner and his staff. Watson’s two other finalists were Texas Tech and Oregon.
Watson made his announcement in a video he tweeted out just after 10 p.m. “Next year I’ll be attending ... Oklahoma State University,” he said, wearing a Cowboys t-shirt and cap. “Go Pokes.”
As an in-state player with whom Tech coaches had spent considerable time cultivating a relationship, Watson was considered a prospect who seemed likely to commit to play for Tech and Pastner. However, Oklahoma State made a strong push in recent months and had a connection that the Yellow Jackets couldn’t match, along with a much stronger record in recent seasons – Oklahoma State coach Mike Boynton, who is Watson’s cousin.
Tech’s hope had been that Watson could be arguably the highest-profile prospect to commit to play for the Jackets in Pastner’s tenure (freshman guard Michael Devoe would be the other) and also certainly the most significant in-state recruit. He would have gone a long way toward fulfilling Pastner’s vision for what he said needs to be a great signing class.
It still remains a possibility, but now two of the three prospects who had taken official visits to Tech this fall have now committed elsewhere. Tech is competing with Duke, North Carolina and Arizona, among others, for the third, point guard Boogie Ellis of San Diego.
In an odd bit of timing, Pastner did receive a commitment Sunday from David Divenko, who is starting his first season at a Florida junior college and will transfer in next summer with three years of eligibility. He will be able to play immediately.
Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.
Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.