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Watson relishes first taste, hungry for more
Posted Sep 7, 2011 by Adam Adkins
Updated Sep 7, 2011 at 08:10 PM
It was everything Elkino Watson envisioned for his first college game: staring at a packed house, in a hostile environment, everybody screaming and shouting.
When it came time for USF’s true freshman defensive tackle to take the field for the first time at Notre Dame Stadium, he wanted to make the most of his first snap.
“My heart was pounding, like, ‘I’ve gotta make a play, gotta make a play,’” Watson said.
And he did. Watson entered the game on the Bulls second defensive series and proceeded to wrap up Notre Dame running back Cierre Wood after a 4-yard gain on his first collegiate play. Afterwards, he was congratulated by several of the Bulls veteran defenders, a moment he won’t forget.
“It felt pretty awesome,” Watson said of what turned out to be his only tackle in USF’s 23-20 win.
After watching the film from his first game Watson knows there’s plenty of room for improvement, and he’s eager to get back onto the field. No. 22 USF (1-0) hosts Ball State (1-0) in its home opener Saturday.
“It makes me pretty hungry, makes me want to work more,” Watson said. “Like Keith McCaskill and Cory Grissom said, don’t never settle for less. Just keep going and keep working every day, you’ll get better. From there, no telling how far you’ll go.”
Bulls defensive tackles coach Kevin Patrick said Watson certainly is heading in the right direction.
“You get to a point where you’d like to say you have four ones, and Elkino’s getting close,” Patrick said. “I thought Luke (Sager) and Elkino, for the limited amount of reps that they got – I mean, we had so many breaks in there, my first guys stayed fresh – but they played hard.
“I’m real excited about those two guys behind Pork Chop (Grissom) and Keith, and again I think we’re going to progress into a situation where they’re all ones. It’s just going to be a rolling situation where we’re going to put guys out on the field and they’re going to produce the same.”