Watts chose the Spartans over Florida State, which he visited in early September. Watts canceled a visit to Missouri that had been planned for this weekend, and fellow finalist Louisville landed a commitment from ESPN 100 guard David Johnson earlier Saturday.
"The next step is all about development -- as a player, as [a] student, as a teammate and as a person," Watts wrote on Instagram. "That's why I've decided to play college basketball for coach Tom Izzo at Michigan State University. The opportunity to work and play for [an] elite staff that wants to see me succeed and compete for championships. The chance to put myself in the best possible position at the NBA Draft someday. I trust Michigan State with my future ... for me there is nothing like Michigan State."
Watts, a 6-foot-2 point guard from SPIRE Academy (Ohio), is ranked No. 27 in the ESPN 100 for the 2019 class. The Detroit native is the sixth-ranked point guard in the country.
Playing for The Family on the Nike EYBL circuit, Watts was one of the top performers of the spring and summer. He averaged 24.6 points over 17 games in the spring, then expanded his game in July. During the Peach Invitational, Watts averaged 24.8 points, 5.0 rebounds and 6.0 assists, while shooting 40.4 percent from 3-point range. Watts scored 30-plus points on six different occasions during the 22-game season, including 43 points twice.
Watts is the future replacement for junior guard Cassius Winston, one of the best point guards in college basketball last season. Michigan State is also bringing in ESPN 100 freshman Foster Loyer this season, but Watts is able to play both positions in the backcourt.
Izzo is hoping Watts is the first piece in an elite 2019 recruiting class. The case can be made the Spartans are a front-runner for both Vernon Carey Jr. (No. 3) and Isaiah Stewart (No. 4), although it's unlikely they'll be able to land both elite big men. They're also among the contenders for five-star small forward Keion Brooks, and are in the mix for ESPN 100 forward Malik Hall and five-star forward Trayce Jackson-Davis.