South Fayette standout Watson chooses Penn
When a high school football player gets an offer to compete at the Football Bowl Subdivision level, the temptation to compete on the biggest stage usually leads to a commitment.
For South Fayette's Justin Watson, that just wasn't enough.
Despite having offers from Mid American Conference programs Akron and Buffalo, Watson committed to the University of Pennsylvania of the Ivy League – a Football Championship Subdivision conference. The 6-foot-2, 185-pound senior also had offers from Bucknell, Cornell and Fordham.
“I knew early on I would have to decide between a more football based school or an Ivy League school,” Watson said. “I loved all the coaches I dealt with at Penn and once I visited campus, I knew it was the place. It was a great honor to be offered by big time schools.
“I hope I can bring that kind of talent to Penn and have it lead to some big things.”
Watson said he plans to studying business with an emphasis in economics at Penn and noted the school has one of the best business schools in the country. And he was struck by the metropolitan setting in Philadelphia.
“I loved the campus,” Watson said. “You are in a major city but once you step onto campus, you lose yourself.”
While Penn is better known for its studies than its athletics, the Quakers football program is no slouch. The program has captured 16 Ivy League football championships, including three of the last four. Penn was picked to win the conference in 2013 in the Ivy League preseason poll.
Watson said it is a relief to have the decision out of the way and he can now concentrate on what happens on the field. Watson finished 2012 with 28 receptions for 592 yards and eight touchdowns. He also had 26 tackles and two interceptions as a defensive back.
The Lions enter the season with high expectations, being ranked No. 2 in Class AA in the Tribune-Review's preseason rankings.
It isn't anything new for South Fayette, where high expectations are the norm.
“Every year we set our sight on three championships,” Watson said “We want to get through our first nine games and win the conference. From there we want to make it to Heinz (Field) and then to Hershey.”
Nathan Smith is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at email@example.com or 412-388-5813.
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.