Last year Dekoda Watson was just a freshman on Florida State's campus just trying to get acclimated with college life. Now, the sophomore from South Carolina is taking up leadership roles in a very young linebacker core. Watson also was mentored by the newest Pittsburgh Steeler's linebacker. Dekoda explains "Geno (Hayes) was the one that took out time to show me film. Lawrence Timmons and I had a lot in common since we're both from South Carolina. I try to help all the freshmen. I feel like the freshmen need to learn a lot. I don't think they have a lot of time to get acclimated with everything. I work a lot with Smiley (Maurice Harris), Jamar (Jackson), and Kendall (Smith)."
While Watson has stepped up this off season as a leader, he has also stepped up his game. "I worked out a lot participating in 7 on 7's. I know that my pass coverage isn't all that great. It's something I have to work on. Whether I'm covering a wide out or someone coming out of the backfield I have to be able to defend it" says Watson. ‘Noles fans shouldn't be surprised this season if his hard work pays off. Over the past few scrimmages Watson has been breaking up passes and making big plays. Watson shares his thoughts about practices and the scrimmages so far "I think we came a long way. We had to get used to the new coaching staff and they had to get adjusted to the players. We are still working hard and learning a lot. We're all just getting ready for Clemson". Along with working on his pass coverage this off season, Watson has a new position coach also. "Coach Amato is a heckuva coach. I like him. He is all about the small things and discipline. He doesn't care who he is working with. I see him helping out the walk on guys. To me that says a lot about him" explains Watson. Coach Amato felt that Watson would have a bigger impact switching positions. Last season Watson was working at the weak side linebacker spot. This season Dekoda looks to be a heavy hitter on the strong side. Watson tells Noledigest.com about the switch "I went from weak side linebacker to strong side. I kinda look at that as a plus as far as helping the team out. I have experience at three positions. I had some work last year at DE. I feel comfortable at the strong side now". Some Seminole fans are also wondering if Watson will move back to DE. Watson assured Noledigest.com that his primary position is linebacker. "They (Defensive ends) are good. They don't need me right now I'm just focusing on linebacker" says Watson. With the season nearly a week away and a lot of hype going into this year what can we expect out of the young star? Watson grins and says "I'm just going to give it all I got."