Grand Island vs. Omaha Burke, 11.19

Omaha Burke wide receiver Xavier Watts celebrates a third-quarter touchdown against Grand Island during the Class A state championship at Memorial Stadium last year.

Coveted football recruit Xavier Watts has trimmed his list of colleges to six, and Nebraska is on it.

The Omaha Burke Super-State wide receiver said Thursday he will focus his attention on scholarship offers from the Huskers, Notre Dame, Michigan, Wisconsin, Tennessee and Iowa State heading into the summer months before his senior season.

Watts is working on getting official visits set up. He said one is set for sure — Notre Dame on June 21. Watts said he would probably slip down to Lincoln and take another unofficial visit to NU on Friday, and try to get something set up with Wisconsin in mid-June.

An official visit to Michigan for the Wolverines’ season-opener on Aug. 31 against Middle Tennessee State is also a possibility. Burke begins its Class A state title defense on Aug. 29 at Lincoln Southeast.

It appears Watts will not have his college decision nailed down before the season starts, but “I won’t drag it out too far into the season,” he said.

Watts is the third Burke football player to get major Power Five conference recruiting interest in the past two years. Nebraska landed a pair of 2018 Burke Super-Staters, linebacker Nick Henrich and tight end Chris Hickman, beating out numerous other national powers for their services.

Henrich and Hickman graduated high school last December and went through spring practice with the Huskers leading into their freshman season.

“Nick (Henrich) has told me to take my time and have fun with it (the recruiting process),” Watts said. “He says there’s no need to rush anything or feel any pressure with it. Just enjoy it.”

Watts says Henrich and Hickman have encouraged him to become a Husker but have not made a high-pressure sales pitch.

“They want me to do what’s best for me, that we’ll be friends no matter what decision I make,” Watts said.

The 6-foot-1, 190-pound Watts caught 67 passes for 1,093 yards and 14 touchdowns last season for the 13-0 Bulldogs. Watts was also a factor defensively as a safety with 58 tackles (five for losses) and five interceptions.

Watts, an honor student who wants to major in computer science or engineering, says academics will also be factored into his ultimate college decision. He plans to graduate from Burke in December and begin his college career next spring.

NU already has a commitment from another Super-State wide receiver in the class of 2020, Bellevue West's Zavier Betts.

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Reach the writer at 402-473-7437 or rpowell@journalstar.com. On Twitter @ronpowell_ljs.


Sports reporter

Ron Powell is a longtime prep writer for the Journal Star. He covers high school football, boys basketball and track as well as state college football and Husker and professional tennis.

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