His function, again then, was straightforward, as was the goal.
As a center-schooler, Muskogee’s Anthony Watson was a highlighted operating back, scoring 20-25 touchdowns a calendar year, and started his substantial university vocation on the varsity stage as a freshman.
Final year arrived a substantial boost in playing time, but a 12 months of understanding, and a yr of adjustment.
All those stats? Constrained. Two-hundred 30-nine yards speeding, two touchdowns, but 425 yards acquiring, 3 touchdowns.
The 6-foot, 220-pound Watson has evolved, and is even now evolving, into the soccer case in point of the Swiss Military Knife.
He might line up at functioning back.
Or tight conclusion.
Or vast receiver.
And then there’s the other aspect of the football.
On defense, taking part in a hybrid edge place labeled Rougher, he’d line up as a defensive close, or at moments, drop back again into coverage as a linebacker variety, and can even change to protection.
“It’s variety of a whole lot, mastering the performs at a person situation, then one more placement,” Watson mentioned, referring notably to offense. “But I have not experienced any difficulty with it.
He could take care of 20 touchdowns a yr accomplishing what he employed to, but he’s a gadget man.
“Swiss Army knife? That is a very excellent description for him,” mentioned Roughers head coach Travis Hill. “And we want to use all of his resources.”
Watson wants to extend his soccer life past high school and he sees his finest resources principally as a working back again.
“From my peak (6-1), I really don’t see myself as a tight conclude and I nonetheless need to have to establish as a defensive participant, but if not operating back at the next amount, probably a receiver,” he explained.
Hill just is aware of the junior is an offensive weapon, time period.
“From a defensive facet, when I glimpse out there and know you’ve received to get into particular things and I see him coming on as a limited end, I know it’s for a reason and I have to personnel that (defensively),” Hill stated. “Anthony’s not heading in on that established since he’s never ever coming off the discipline. There is a large amount of several sets there with one particular dude you can effortlessly get in to.”
Along the line, Watson brings some intangibles produced through expertise, flexibility and character.
“He grew as a blocker previous year on the perimeter and downfield whilst playing receiver,” Hill said. “He’s 220 pounds and blocking corners, men and women that he is larger than but just as athletic. When he found that ability and took pride in it, he got superior and superior — as a sophomore.”
Watson embraces remaining a blocking receiver.
“Before I was used to overrunning my assignment, but I have slowed down and gotten superior holding onto my blocks for a extended time,” he claimed.
That physicality will come in helpful with wildcat deals on the intention line.
“Don’t wait to print that,” Hill mentioned. “He will come across himself in that package.”
And in that, Watson will have the ball in his fingers with a possibility for touchdowns, which is what he desires in any case.
“My purpose has changed, but I’m additional (varied) and am also in a place of remaining a chief,” Watson stated. “I’m Ok with being that person.
“Even if I’m not a managing back again, there’s methods I can perform on as a tight end or vast receiver. Catching and then tucking immediately after the catch, and running in the open discipline. It is all aspect of it possibly way, even as a functioning back out of the backfield.”
Then there is the character concern.
Watson is grounded in it, thanks to his mothers and fathers, Otis and Heidi and an more mature sister who has carved out her own fame. Elexis Watson was the Phoenix’s Female Athlete of the Yr as a senior and went on in university to be a crucial element of a nationwide championship in softball at Rogers Condition this spring.
“I received to thank all of them for keeping me in line and things,” Watson reported.
And it’s recognized by others.
“Coaches who have seen him and phone me to communicate about him all say he’s a great kid,” Hill mentioned. “Good football coaches however care about that intangible, and it can go 100 miles. Then you received a child with expertise, and you are not going to get faculty coaches conversing about you except if you have that to get started.
“He’s a chief who not only needs it but does it. It was challenging for him to do that as a sophomore. That is not the scenario now.”
At question is in which he will in the end be recruited to perform.
“In the very long run, the way he is being utilized will be a huge advantage for him and we’ll use it to our edge not only for what we do but also to offer the child to coaches,” Hill claimed. “I believe by the conclusion of this year we’ll have some interesting conversations about the items that will open up up to him and we’ll have a much better notion what these coaches are wondering.”
In the meantime, the junior is pondering of championships.
“I observed my sister win and how joyful she was,” he stated. “I want that feeling. I require to even the relatives score.”