Freshman WR Dareian Watkins leaves Wisconsin due to homesickness

Friday July 18th, 2014

Freshman wide receiver Dareian Watkins has left the Wisconsin football team, his high school coach told

A Wisconsin spokesman told Fox Sports that Watkins isn't enrolled in summer classes, but didn't elaborate.

A class of 2014 recruit from Galion, Ohio, Watkins joined the Badgers in June for summer workouts but left after a week. Watkins came back to Madison after coaches said he'd be allowed to rejoin the team, but left for home again just several days later, causing Wisconsin to part ways with Watkins.

Chris Hawkins, Watkins's coach at Galion High School, said Watkins left because he was homesick.

"Me being his coach and very close to him, it makes me sick to my stomach," Hawkins said. "I know, his parents know, we all know he's made a huge mistake. Because he's the best athlete I've ever coached. I've been doing this 20-something years.

"He didn't get kicked off. He just made a stupid choice because he's homesick. He's unfortunately I think letting a golden opportunity go by."

Watkins was rated a four-star recruit and ranked No. 261 overall in the class of 2014, according to the composite rankings. He originally committed to Northwestern before eventually choosing the Badgers.

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- Ben Estes

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