It’s no secret that Pitt is looking to add a tight end or two to next year’s roster.
After coming up short with both Nikolas Ognenovic and Kyle Bilodeau and with the recent loss of Travis Koontz, the staff has their eyes on a new set of potential prospects.
Pittsburgh Sports Now has learned that yesterday TE coach Tim Salem was in contact with three junior college tight ends: Denzel Carter, Leroy Watson and Julius Coates.
Carter is from Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College, Watson is from Hutchinson Community College and Coates currently attends Ellsworth Community College in Iowa Falls, Iowa.
This was Pitt’s first contact with all three players and no scholarship offers were made to any of the three yesterday.
We were able to catch up with Watson to find out more about him and what his conversation with Salem consisted of.
Watson (6-5, 260) is originally from Snellville, Georgia which is near Atlanta.
Watson started his career at Hutchinson C.C. playing offensive tackle but eventually made the switch to tight end.
“When I first started playing football in high school, I played defensive tackle (325 lbs.) but after playing tackle for a year, my senior year I moved to left tackle because our starting tackle got hurt,” said Watson. “I stayed at that position when I came here (Hutchinson) but weighed only 265 pounds, I was really undersized but I was fast and quick which made up for it a bit.”
“In the summer of 2017, my head coach and offensive coordinator at Hutch, since I couldn’t retain weight, thought it would be a good idea for me to move to tight end. I made the transition, which was a little hard. The biggest thing I had to work on was my hands but blocking wise I was fine. Now, I really enjoy the position and I believe playing offensive line gave me an edge over most tight ends with run blocking and schemes.”
While blocking is the biggest strength of his game, Watson feels he’s developed nicely as a pass-catching weapon.
“Originally I was mostly a run-blocking tight end but last year I didn’t drop a single pass that was thrown to me either,” said Watson. “Most coaches tell me they’re looking at me because they say I’m a very mean run-blocker and pride myself on that. I feel I’m great at run-blocking and it sets me a part from most players.”
As far as his conversation with Salem, it was brief but to the point.
“That was the first conversation that I had with Coach. He told me that we really need a tight end and then spoke a few words after that and I think we’ll talk a few days from now.”
Watson tells me that if he were to receive an offer from Pitt, they’d instantly become his top school.
— Leroy Watson (@LeroyWatson77) September 24, 2018