As one of six preordained participants of the Polynesian Bowl to make his college commitment during the game, the pressure was on Leilehua’s Charles Moku Watson to make a decision.
After 10 scholarship offers and a decommitment to Washington State last fall, Watson narrowed his options down to Oregon State and BYU before Saturday night. Regardless, Watson didn’t decide until that morning, ultimately choosing the Beavers.
“I kind of slept on it. It was a really hard decision. It took me until today to figure out where I wanted to go,” Watson said after the game. “Both of them are great programs. I just woke up this morning and that’s what my heart chose.”
Despite missing some time over the past two seasons due to injuries, he was always a key cog for the Mules, earning Honolulu Star-Advertiser All-State first-team honors as a defensive utility player.
Although Watson lined up on both sides of the ball during his prep career, the OSU coaching staff saw him holding it down for the Beavers’ secondary for the years to come.
“I think I’ll bring some edge to the defense,” Watson said. “They’re looking for some guys on the safety and corner spots. I think I bring a lot of versatility to the defense.”
With a few signatures on Feb. 1 as his last hurdle, Watson’s recruitment is all but sealed. As a result, he’s gone from being recruited to doing some recruiting himself.
He’s talked to Kahuku’s Kesi Ah-Hoy, who recently opened up his recruitment and could soon join him.
“I’ve been trying to get Kesi,” he said. “We’ll see at signing day what Kesi does. It’s going to be crazy.”
Though the process has been a whirlwind for Watson, he’s found the environment he set out to compete in from the start.
“It’s beautiful, man. When I took my visit, it reminded me of Wahiawa. A lot of trees, real cool temperature,” he said. “They got great coaches, great facilities. It’s always been my dream to play for a Pac-12 school.”
While Corvallis gives him a small piece of home, Watson acknowledged what allowed him to be able to leave in the first place.
“I just want people to know that I got to where I am because of my coaches at Leilehua,” Watson said. “They really brought me up and really nurtured me … All my success comes from those guys.”