Saturday, June 16, 2012
Aiken, SC -- Dekoda Watson is two years into what he and the city of Aiken hopes is a long and successful NFL career, but the Tampa Bay linebacker wasn't thinking about his future Saturday.
His thoughts were with the kids at his first Dekoda Watson Youth Football Camp.
Young football players of all ages were at South Aiken High School this morning learning from one of their idols, picking up the tools of the trade both on and off the field.
Watson didn't have the benefit of these camps when he was coming up, so to him, it was important to come home and help bring up the next generation.
He said, "We never really had this. I don't ever remember ever having a football camp in Aiken or anything like it. I just wanted to make sure that I do one. I've been to a lot of them in the NFL, and seeing a lot of my other teammates come out here and do it, and I wanted to be a part of it. I wanted to give back to my community and make sure we have a lot that's going on for these kids."
Things have been pretty good for Dekoda in the last year.
He sees his role with the Bucs growing this year with a new coaching staff in town, and he accomplished something last season he'd always dreamed of...scoring an NFL touchdown.
"It was a straight out of body experience. It was one of the biggest accomplishments too because a lot of my family members are either Dallas fans or Steelers fans so for me to score on the Dallas team was phenomenal."
Watson has plans to continue the camp in Aiken every year and might even start a camp in Tampa at some point.
He's not the only one doing his part either. Thomson product Jasper Brinkley and Jefferson County standout Fernando Velasco are NFL players with camps in July.