A story should have a great beginning, but for top-ranked offensive line prospects like Chris Watt it's the finish that counts most.
"He's a very physical blocker that finishes extremely well," Glenbard West High School coach Chad Hetlet said of his 6-foot-3, 280-pound offensive lineman. "A lot of coaches around the country say he's the best finisher in the country.
"He's a very physical blocker and pretty relentless in his pursuit."
Such play has garnered the Glen Ellyn, Ill., prospect at top-100 rating by Rivals and at least 25 scholarship offers from UCLA to Miami. Watt's first goal of this young recruiting season is to whittle down his list of schools to eight to 10 by the end of May.
Not only is Watt a fantastic football prospect, he's also an incredible student, with a 4.1 grade point average. Such a resume has highly touted academic institutions like Notre Dame and Stanford in line, along with football powerhouses like Oklahoma and Nebraska, which offered last week.
"The people are the most important thing," Watt said when asked about the factors in his college decision. "Just being comfortable with the school. Academics are obviously very important, and winning a national championship."
But just because Watt has an astronomical GPA doesn't mean academics will be the single, determining factor in his college decision.
"Wherever I go, I can make the most out of the education," said Watt, who plans to pursue a career in marketing or advertising.
Thanks to strong recruiting efforts from Tennessee offensive line coach Greg Adkins, Watt said he expects UT to be in his top 10 later this month and would like to take a summer visit to Knoxville.
Watt's appreciation of UT grew long before the Vols recruited him. As a college football fan, he got to know the traditions of several schools, UT included.
"I know it's one of the greatest traditions in college football," Watt said. "Rocky Top and all that is really cool. It's a really good program."
Illinois would seem to be a concern for the Vols, considering it is Watt's in-state school and head coach Ron Zook is a well-respected recruiter. While Illinois may prove to be a strong competitor for Watt's services, it doesn't seem to be an unbeatable foe.
"Over the past few years I haven't cheered for just one team," said Watt, who admitted rooting for Illinois when he was younger. "I've just been watching college football."
Watt speaks fondly of Adkins, which could prove to be a significant bond in recruiting and the future.
"That's important just because you get to know your position coach a lot better," Watt said. "It's somebody you're going to be spending more time with than even the head coach."
Watt is a three-sport star at Glenbard West, participating in football, basketball and track (shot put and discus). Hetlet said hoops have been key to Watt's development.
"I think it's a major factor in why he's as athletic as he is," Hetlet said. "He's got great, quick feet. He's got great hips. He can move. He's not a kid that moves like he's 280 pounds."
Watt moves so well, in fact, that he was named all-conference in basketball. But now it's time to focus on football.
"Some of the things I need to work on are pass blocking and just getting bigger and faster," Watt said.
He'll try to do that while keeping up his better-than-perfect grade point average and handling an already huge recruiting war that's only going to intensify.
"He's trying to figure it all out right now," Hetlet said, "and I think he's doing a great job with the process."