“Well, first off, I look a little bit like him,” Watson says, ‘him’ being New York Giants tight-end Jeremy Shockey. “And then we my teammates and coaches saw me play, they all said I played like him.”
Suffice it to say, Watson – Maryland’s most recent commitment from the high school Class of 2007 – has taken a liking to the nickname. His cell phone’s voicemail greeting starts with: “Hey, this is Shockey …”
“Everybody calls me that now. Some kids at school don’t even know my real name,” he says, chuckling.
He may need a new nickname at Maryland, though, as the 6-foot-2, 225-pound rising senior will be making the switch to fullback. Maryland coach Ralph Friedgen sees Watson as a hybrid – someone who can give the team more than just blocking at a position that has been relatively one-dimensional.
“They said I wasn’t tall enough to play tight-end … they way Coach Friedgen described it to me was an athletic fullback,” he says. “He said he could see me as someone who could catch the ball and even run sometimes, without having to come out of the game in blocking situations.”
Coming into this summer, Watson wasn’t expecting to see offers from major Division I programs. But he made the gym his temporary residence all spring and then impressed the staff at Maryland’s Junior Day.
Wide receivers coach Bryan Bossard, who last year nabbed one of Watson’s Gwynn Park teammates, linebacker Adrian Moten, called Watson shortly thereafter and told him an offer was forthcoming.
“I’m real excited. I can’t stop thinking about it,” says Watson, who is friends with Moten and Terps junior linebacker Wesley Jefferson, another Gwynn Park alum.
With his college future secured, Watson is returning his focus to the present – defending the Class 3A state title.
“I want to get back and win another state championship, that’s my goal. I want to go 28 and 0. We went 14 and 0 last year, and I want to go 28 and 0,” he says.
Taylor Watson Scout.com Profile