UF’s Desmond Watson starting to make an impact for Gator defense

6-foot-5, 415 pound defensive lineman has potential to be a force against the run
Defensive lineman getting attention for big hit
Published: Sep. 22, 2022 at 9:17 PM EDT
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) -It took a lot of big plays for the Gators to knock off USF last weekend, but one of the most talked about came courtesy of the largest Gator on the roster. Desmond Watson isn’t satisfied there.

Watson has become a social media sensation after tossing Bulls running back Brian Battie to the ground like a rag doll on a play during the second half. For comparison, that’s 5-foot-8, 165 pounds going up against 6-foot-5, 415 pounds. That’s Watson’s listed weight--he has actually lost about 40 pounds since the start of training camp, and if he continues to show increased mobility, the sophomore could become a factor in UFs run defense.

“There have been times where I had to have a conversation with myself and really buckle down, because, not to say I’m running out of time, I’m still early in my college career, but for my liking I know I wanted to get on the field more, so I know I had to buckle down and get right, so I could be on the field like I wanted to be,” said Watson.

“Let me tell you something, he’s just getting started if he stays the course,” said Florida head coach Billy Napier. “It’s a wholesale change in terms of habits, discipline, we’re talking about nutrition, sleep, overall approach.”

The No. 20 Gators are listed as 10.5 point underdogs Saturday in Knoxville against No. 11 Tennessee.

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