His role, back then, was uncomplicated, as was the objective.
As a center-schooler, Muskogee’s Anthony Watson was a highlighted running back again, scoring 20-25 touchdowns a year, and commenced his superior university job on the varsity level as a freshman.
Last year arrived a considerable raise in actively playing time, but a 12 months of understanding, and a 12 months of adjustment.
Those people stats? Restricted. Two-hundred 30-nine yards hurrying, two touchdowns, but 425 yards acquiring, 3 touchdowns.
The 6-foot, 220-pound Watson has developed, and is still evolving, into the soccer instance of the Swiss Army Knife.
He could possibly line up at functioning back again.
Or limited finish.
Or wide receiver.
And then there is the other facet of the football.
On protection, enjoying a hybrid edge place labeled Rougher, he’d line up as a defensive close, or at times, drop again into coverage as a linebacker form, and can even change to protection.
“It’s sort of a large amount, understanding the plays at 1 place, then a further situation,” Watson mentioned, referring especially to offense. “But I have not had any issue with it.
He could manage 20 touchdowns a calendar year carrying out what he utilized to, but he’s a gadget guy.
“Swiss Army knife? That’s a fairly excellent description for him,” stated Roughers head coach Travis Hill. “And we want to use all of his applications.”
Watson would like to prolong his football daily life past significant university and he sees his finest applications primarily as a operating back.
“From my peak (6-1), I do not see myself as a limited conclusion and I however need to produce as a defensive player, but if not managing back at the next stage, possibly a receiver,” he stated.
Hill just is aware the junior is an offensive weapon, period of time.
“From a defensive aspect, when I appear out there and know you’ve acquired to get into particular items and I see him coming on as a limited stop, I know it is for a reason and I have to staff that (defensively),” Hill explained. “Anthony’s not likely in on that set mainly because he’s in no way coming off the discipline. There’s a whole lot of many sets there with a person dude you can simply get in to.”
Along the line, Watson delivers some intangibles developed through encounter, flexibility and character.
“He grew as a blocker very last year on the perimeter and downfield when playing receiver,” Hill said. “He’s 220 lbs and blocking corners, men and women that he is bigger than but just as athletic. When he discovered that skill and took satisfaction in it, he acquired greater and greater — as a sophomore.”
Watson embraces being a blocking receiver.
“Before I was used to overrunning my assignment, but I’ve slowed down and gotten far better holding onto my blocks for a extended time,” he reported.
That physicality will appear in useful with wildcat deals on the goal line.
“Don’t wait to print that,” Hill mentioned. “He will uncover himself in that offer.”
And in that, Watson will have the ball in his palms with a opportunity for touchdowns, which is what he desires anyway.
“My purpose has transformed, but I’m extra (various) and am also in a placement of remaining a leader,” Watson said. “I’m Alright with remaining that individual.
“Even if I’m not a functioning again, there is tactics I can get the job done on as a limited conclusion or wide receiver. Catching and then tucking after the catch, and working in the open up area. It is all section of it both way, even as a running back out of the backfield.”
Then there is the character situation.
Watson is grounded in it, thanks to his mother and father, Otis and Heidi and an older sister who has carved out her own fame. Elexis Watson was the Phoenix’s Woman Athlete of the Yr as a senior and went on in school to be a key part of a nationwide championship in softball at Rogers Point out this spring.
“I bought to thank all of them for keeping me in line and stuff,” Watson explained.
And it’s noticed by other people.
“Coaches who have viewed him and connect with me to chat about him all say he’s a excellent child,” Hill reported. “Good soccer coaches nevertheless treatment about that intangible, and it can go 100 miles. Then you got a kid with talent, and you are not going to get college or university coaches conversing about you except you have that to commence.
“He’s a leader who not only requires it but does it. It was challenging for him to do that as a sophomore. That’s not the scenario now.”
At problem is wherever he will ultimately be recruited to participate in.
“In the lengthy operate, the way he is remaining utilised will be a big benefit for him and we’ll use it to our edge not only for what we do but also to sell the child to coaches,” Hill reported. “I feel by the close of this 12 months we’ll have some fascinating conversations about the matters that will open up to him and we’ll have a better notion what these coaches are considering.”
In the meantime, the junior is considering of championships.
“I observed my sister earn and how content she was,” he stated. “I want that experience. I will need to even the relatives score.”