Kolby Watts has made his decision and decided to become an Arkansas-Pine Bluff Golden Lion.
He committed to the Golden Lions on Saturday, Jan. 21 after taking a visit to the university that same day.
“They welcomed me [on the spot]. The day they saw me, they wanted to put me in the family that quick and there’s a lot of former teammates at DeSoto that also go there. I can have a good relationship with them while going to get a good education,” he said.
The 5’11, 200 pound, Desoto, TX native said that he can bring a determined student-athlete to Arkansas-Pine Bluff with a will to win and he will do anything to do so. He also said that he wants to be a physical therapist as a backup plan or second career after football.
Kolby Watts will be joining a Golden Lions team that went 1-10 (1-8 SWAC) in 2016. Watts won a state championship with DeSoto High School in 2016 as the DeSoto Eagles capped off a perfect 16-0 season with a 38-29 victory over Steele High School (Cibolo, TX) in the championship game.
“Oh man, winning a state championship and all that stuff, we’ve been trying to win that for years. Ever since we moved to DeSoto that has been one of the many goals we’ve tried to achieve. Winning a state championship really helped bring back life to the community,” Watts said. “The city needed it, they earned it. Coming to the games and all that stuff, they always do. The support we always get from them, DeSoto needed this.”
Watts finished his football career at DeSoto with 258 tackles (183 solo), nine tackles for loss, seven pass breakups, five sacks, five fumble recoveries, four forced fumbles, and two interceptions. He also earned a Texas 6A All-State Honorable Mention, All-District 7-6A Defensive MVP, and a 2016 SportsDayHS First Team Defense selection.
“Probably my height. People would overlook me and things like that but I try my best to play bigger than what I really am and let people underestimate me,” Watts said about he has had to overcome. Check out his senior year highlights
Off the field, he had help from DeSoto Linebackers Coach Brian Stansberry to mold him into the young man he is today.
“I would probably say my linebackers coach, Coach Stansberry because coming into DeSoto, he really took charge at becoming a mentor in my life. Without a father in my life, he showed me how to be a man. Showing me different things, different ways, and skills I could learn when I get older.”
Stansberry describes Watts as someone with tremendous character and a person who wants to be better every day. He mentioned family as a big part of Watts’s life being that he always wants to spend time with his mother and sister. As far as his relationship with Watts, Stansberry had this to say.
“Kolby and I have spent time helping senior citizens in the DeSoto community with yard work. We have spent time hanging out with my family, cooking food and watching football several times throughout the year,” he said.
Watts demonstrated his leadership skills to Stansberry in a playoff game where DeSoto was behind for most of it.
“I witnessed him passionately encouraging his teammates on the sideline to believe and we ended up victorious,” he said.
DeSoto Defensive Coordinator Mark Howeth said that Kolby Watts deserved to be an All-State Linebacker for his play during DeSoto’s playoff run. He caught Howeth’s attention in the spring of his sophomore year.
“He was undersized and did not really look the part of an inside linebacker. However, he was not one to particularly care about his size. He was extremely physical and proved to be very durable.”
DeSoto has a reputation for players like Watts and Taylor Young who Howeth also mentioned. Watts has always had the gifts but the ability to develop those gifts into what he became is what Howeth believed stood out most.
Kolby Watts likes to be able to get downhill from his linebacker spot and put a hit on somebody in addition to being the one in charge of calling plays and making adjustments so the defense is in the best situation.
“My deceptiveness, I got deceptive speed. People think they can outrun me but I’ll come around and I’m right there behind them,” Watts said about what the best part of his game is.
He does recognize, however, that he needs to pay attention more to the fundamentals of the game and he wants to learn more than what he already knows especially when it comes to shedding blocks.
Kolby Watts is going to miss the feeling of Friday night lights on the big D at Eagle Stadium.
“…I have to say that’d be the most memorable moment because having your teammates behind you, the coaching staff and all the supportive fans, the community all out on a Friday night taking their time out to come see us play, I think that’s the best, most memorable part,” he said.