Well, well, well. It’s a five-star kind of day to be a UCLA Bruins.
That’s right, five-star guard and the nation’s eighth-best overall player has made it official and committed to the Bruins. Peyton Watson pledged his commitment via Twitter and over an announcement on Fox Sports, pushing UCLA near the top of the Pac-12 recruiting rankings and granting them the No. 1 player in the state.
On A Mission Tryna Shift The Culture. 100% COMITTED!!! pic.twitter.com/m3dekuNR5j— Peyton Watson (@peytonfromlb) July 28, 2020
Watson, who hails from Long Beach Polytechnic High School in nearby Long Beach, committed to the Bruins despite at least 18 scholarship offers from top basketball schools around the country. He ranks as the top player in California, the third-best small forward and the eighth-best player overall for the class of 2021, according to 247Sports.
He stands 6’7, 180 pounds and chose UCLA over a final list of teams that included Pac-12 rivals Oregon, Arizona and Washington as well as Michigan.
“It checked all the boxes,” Watson said during his commitment announcement on Fox Sports with Titus and Tate. “It’s not only a basketball decision, it’s a life decision. Eventually, that ball is going to stop bouncing, so I feel like my education at UCLA, my ability to come back if I leave early and get that degree and set me up for life, is a big deal.”
“I love the coaching staff,” Watson said. “Coach Cronin, Coach Palmer, all the staff has been extremely generous and hospitable with my family, always giving us the truth and nothing but it.”
Watson joins shooting guard Will McClendon on the nation’s seventh-best overall recruiting class as of right now as McClendon is the seventh-best shooting guard for this class and a top-50 player overall.
Currently, Watson projects as a first-round NBA Draft Lottery pick and is compared to current Indiana Pacers SF Justin Holiday. Josh Gershon of 247Sports penned an evaluation that he also has plenty of room to grow as he transitions to college.
Small forward with good size, long arms and plus athleticism. Still very physically immature; plenty of room to gain strength in coming years. Has been on significant upwards trajectory since start of high school career. Extremely versatile defender due to size, length, athleticism, instincts and motor. Nice feel as rebounder and weak side shot blocker. Offense has continuously improved due to progress with ball skills and jumper. Very good vision for position. Easy high major starter who should be a first round pick if he continues to improve at same rate.
Welcome to Westwood, Peyton!
We’re feeling a five-star kind of way today!