Beyond the Commitment: Tre Watson

Set to take over as the No. 1 back at Corona (Calif.) Centennial next season, and he's already set himself to the task of living up to the long legacy of Cal running backs.

Tre Watson is not a big-name commitment. Got your attention yet? Good.

Watson is not a big-name commitment, but he is, for the new Bear Raid offense brought to California by Sonny Dykes and his staff – including running backs coach Pierre Ingram -- absolutely perfect.

The Bear Raid is all about speed. It's about explosiveness. It's as much about decisiveness as relentlessness.


Last season, as the second back for Corona (Calif.) Centennial, Watson rushed for 9.3 yards per carry and 1,483 yards overall on 163 carries, splitting the load with senior Marquis Perkins. Watkins may not have the extra gear like a Khalfani Muhammad but he is patient and deliberate, and when he hits a hole, he hits it hard. His best attribute? He makes the right decisions, and he makes defenses pay.

"He believes in me," Watson says of Ingram. "He said I'm a great kid, on and off the field, and he likes the way I play. He thinks I'll be a great addition to their offense, and help lead them to a national championship."

Watson scored 22 touchdowns on the ground, caught four balls for 23 yards and one score and didn't fumble the ball a single time. He also returned seven kickoffs for 204 yards and one touchdown, and he's determined to make an even stronger impact as a senior.

"It's just me, so I'm going to have to double my numbers," he says. "It was a great experience (last year). I got to stay healthy and rest a lot, but I'd rather be able to take over, and be me, all the time. I look forward to being able to lead my team to another state championship."

While the 5-foot-10, 185-pounder is laid up with a balky hamstring, that hasn't stopped him in the weight room.

"Train, train, workout, train, eat healthy and get ready," says Watson on what he has to do to prepare to be the No. 1 back. "We've got a chip on our shoulder. We know what we've got to do to win this, so we've got to keep working hard, every day, with no days off."

Watson's last squat max was 475 pounds, but he's starting to inch that up. His max in the bench press is 275 and he power cleans 265.

"I'm more of a squat type of guy -- running backs, we need our legs," says Watson.

With all that power, Watson also has plenty of speed, clocking a 4.44-second 40-yard dash. Of course the number four is familiar to Cal fans – it's the number Jahvid Best wore on his back during his three years in Berkeley.

But, it's not Best who Watson looks at when he thinks of the legacy of Cal running backs.

"Marshawn Lynch is a great hero to me," Watson says. "Every Thursday before practice, I watch his highlight tape, and just try to model after his game. He inspires me. He went to Cal, and it's a great thing to do. I'm going to go in and take over and hopefully, fulfill the legacy." Top Stories