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2022 NFL Draft Prospect Interview: Duece Watts, WR, Tulane

Duece Watts was Tulane’s leading receiver in 2020. He’s a gritty player and reliable deep threat. He recently sat down with NFL Draft Diamonds writer Jimmy Williams.
  • Name: Duece Watts
  • Height: 6’2”
  • Weight: 195 lbs
  • Position: WR
  • College: Tulane University
  • Twitter: NatorianWatts
  • Instagram: duecewattts

Talk about your experience as a student. What is your major/minor? Did you participate in any other activities or campus organizations other than football?
Out of high school, I went to Jones County Junior College. After that, I was able to get a scholarship to attend Tulane. The transition was a bit challenging, but overall I’ve had a good experience. I am majoring in Kinesiology. I hope to one day be a personal trainer and maybe get into real estate. Other than football, I have volunteered with the team doing community service projects and landscaping.

What do your teammates say is your best quality?
I think my teammates would say that I have a great personality. I have great energy on the field, and I’m also a positive person to be around

What kind of role do you see yourself in on the team? What scheme and/or position suits your skill set?
I was the leading receiver last year for Tulane, and coaches look at me to be a leader of my position group. I like being able to help the young guys and lifting them up when things aren’t going well.

As far as being a receiver, I’m a deep threat and I can also be a reliable target in the red zone. I’ve been our possession WR, but look for me to play more in the slot with a new offensive coordinator.

I can also be a main player on special teams. I’ve been our starting KR and have also played some gunner. Back in JUCO, I was a PR as well.

Who is the best player you have ever played against in college?
The best player that I’ve ever seen play is Tulsa’s Zaven Collins. I’ve never seen a guy his size with that kind of athletic talent. Houston WR Marquez Stevenson gained my respect as well. He made a 97-yard kick return TD look easy. SMU QB Shane Buechele  was a good player as well. With every ball he threw, he gave his receivers a chance to make a play.

Which one of your teammates impresses you the most?
When I was at Jone County JC, I had a teammate named Manny Jones. He’s currently playing for Alcorn State. Manny earned my respect from day one. As a 5’6” receiver, he worked harder than anyone. I never saw a player work so hard. He was a good downhill threat and a great guy

Cam Sample and Patrick Johnson were special players that we had on our defense. We all knew they were going to get drafted and make an impact in the NFL. They are humble guys as well who put in the work everyday. Our QB Michael Pratt has a bright future as well. He’s going into his sophomore season, and he’s also one of the most mature guys on the team. 

Describe a time in your life when you were able to overcome a struggle.
Recruiting was a stressful process. I felt like I had a great campaign my senior season, but I still didn’t get many offers. I took the JUCO route and ended up going to Jones County JC. While I was there, I wore # 7 because I had a cousin that was killed, and I wanted to honor him.

JUCO isn’t an easy life. There are always players coming and going. They brought in another player at my position who they ended up starting over me. It was depressing that I didn’t get the starting job. My dad would say that there are some things that you can’t control, and I knew that my time would come. After the 3rd game, the starting WR had gotten into trouble off the field which gave me the opportunity to play. I kept that starting role for the rest of the season.

As I was finishing up JUCO, I had an offer to come to Tulane. They wanted an older receiver to start. Darnell Mooney was playing in the NFL, and they needed a veteran leader for their team. So, I came in, earned my spot and ended up be the leading receiver last year.

If you didn’t play football, what other sport would you play?
Baseball. I actually played more baseball than football growing up. I didn’t start playing football until I was about 9 or 10. I played baseball my freshman year at Richton High. I also played some basketball and was named team MVP as a sophomore. I moved to Petal High my junior year. They were a great football school, and I decided to focus mostly on that sport there.

What is something that you are most proud of? What would you say is your biggest achievement?
I’m most proud of getting to the level that I’m at and being able to play with my twin brother. It’s been a blessing that we’ve been together in our football journey. Getting a scholarship is a big achievement. Being able to get a free education while playing the sport that I love is a huge blessing.

Describe one of the most memorable plays of your collegiate career.
During the 2020 season, we were playing against SMU. We were in the red zone down a touchdown and trying to tie things up. Then, we ended up getting 3 straight penalties putting us in a 3rd and 39. No one gave us a chance to convert that play. I ran a fade to the right sideline, the QB threw me a great ball and I ended up coming down with it at the 3-yard line. The next play, we were able to punch it in for a score.

Do you have a favorite athlete or professional team? Is there a player that you model your game after?
My favorite football team is the Green Bay Packers. Julio Jones is my favorite player. He’s a big play receiver and the best in the league. I try to model my game after him.

Who is your favorite music artist? What gets you pumped before a game?
My favorite music artist is Rod Wave. Before a game, I listen to all types of music from guys like Eminem, NBA Youngboy and Big Scarr who’s a Memphis rapper.

What is your favorite comfort food?
My Grandma is the best cook in Mississippi. I love her fried chicken, collard greens and cornbread. Her banana pudding is something special too.

Do you have a favorite movie, TV show or actor?
My favorite movie is Scarface. Denzel is my all-time favorite actor. One of the TV shows that I like to watch is the Regular Show which is on Cartoon Network.

What do you do in your spare time? Do you have any hobbies? Any secret talents?
In my free time, I like to play video games. I just got a PS5, and I play games like Madden, 2K and Call of Duty: War Zone. Other than that, I’m either working out or hanging out with my friends.

Why do you play football? Who or what motivates you the most?
I play for my family. Football got me where I’m at today. I eat, sleep and breathe football. I play because I watched my Grandma, Mom and Dad struggle to give me the opportunity to play. They’ve helped me so much, and I hope to one day give back to them a token of my appreciation.

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