Oct. 18, 2013
By: Christopher Miller
ohiobobcats.com Staff Writer
In recent years, Ohio University football has become a program that is not just on the rise, it is here to stay. The team has proven that in any given year, it is capable of playing for championships. Ohio has always searched for in-state talent, and now, more than ever, is attracting student-athletes to Athens.
Troy Watson, a native of Aurora, Ohio, is a Redshirt Freshman on the offensive line for the Bobcats, and is a perfect example of the talent that the state has to offer. Watson did not see any action on the field it 2012 due to redshirting, but credits the year as being extremely beneficial.
"Redshirting in 2012 was huge for me," Watson said, "I was able to learn the playbook, spend a lot of time in the weight room getting stronger, and adjust to the speed of the college game."
The 2013 season is shaping out much differently than Watson had imagined.
"I didn't anticipate being in a starting role this year," Watson explained. "I expected to spell Ryan [McGrath] and give him breaks during games. But when Ryan went down, my teammates supported me, and I felt confident that I could step in for him."
Watson got the first start of his Ohio career against a tough Marshall team and he performed quite well.
"Troy works so hard to be better every day," Offensive Line Coach Keven Lightner said. "Troy jumped right into a starting role when McGrath got hurt and did a tremendous job earning Offensive Lineman of the Game versus Marshall."
Watson's early success with the Bobcats is not a surprise.
"I recruited Troy because he had good size, was very athletic, and showed great toughness," Lightner added. "Troy has really worked hard on getting stronger in the weight room and is becoming a real technician on the field."
"I look for Troy to be an All-Conference player here and he has the ability to be a next level guy and play on Sundays," Lightner said. "Troy is smart, hardworking, and has tough as they come. He is everything you look for in an offensive lineman."
Watson's ultimate goal, like many, is to play in the NFL, like his former teammate Eric Herman. He knows that Coach Lightner will help him reach his goals.
"Coach Lightner is a genuine person, who is a very good teacher from all angles, on and off the field," Watson said. "I believe he can help me become the best player I can be."
"If the NFL doesn't work out," Watson said, "I would like to own a church. I have a very strong faith and it has helped me throughout football getting me through any tough times I have faced."
"I feel honored to be able to play Division I football in my home state, not far from my family who get to see me play in most of my games," Watson said. "It's truly a blessing, and I want to make sure I never take that for granted"
The conference season is still young as the Bobcats head into Eastern Michigan with a 4-2 record. One thing is for sure, they have had a strong week of practice preparing for another physical MAC team, living up to the team motto: Finish, No Regrets!