Nearly everything in Gabe Watson’s football career has come fast.
“How fast it happened was kind of ridiculous. I left a division three school after a semester, went to junior college for the spring semester, and then into the fall transferred mid-year to come here after Coach Chapan emailed me. I went on a visit, then within the next two days I committed here, and then was on a plane the next month to come here officially,” said Watson.
After tearing his ACL his senior year of high school, the California native was worried he would never be able to live out his dream of playing college football.
“I thought football was over, I thought I was going to try to walk on somewhere. I wasn’t really getting any looks I was excited about,” said Watson.
Life was moving almost as fast as his speed on the field, until he found his calling at the University of Sioux Falls.
“We had a spring scrimmage, and he bounced off a couple guys and took it about 60 yards for a touchdown. I looked around and said ‘maybe we got something here’,” said USF Head Coach Jon Anderson.
The numbers speak for itself this season. Watson leads the nation with 1,702 rushing yards going into week ten. He also sits on top of the country with 23 rushing touchdowns.
“It’s a good feeling, definitely amazing you know, hopefully I can keep producing the way that I have been, but it’s a great feeling to know I have those accolades right,” said Watson.
“This season has just been amazing. I don’t want to say we didn’t expect that from him but he’s exceeded expectations, we think the sky's the limit for him,” said Anderson.
To put that into perspective, Watson’s rushing total so far this season makes him lead not only division two but all of college football.
“All the guys are just selling out on offense. That’s what it’s all about, the family mentality, everybody trying to do their part even when we don’t have the bal in our hands, that’s the big thing,” said Watson.
Keep in mind Watson still has all of this season and next year to play for the Cougars. His focus though is on the team aspect, and keeping the winning culture at USF.
“I want to go into playoffs, I want to win a national title, that’s number one on the list. Starting with the recruiting process to now things are just happening quickly, so I’m just trying to keep up, keep a head on me, and just keep on rolling with it,” said Watson.