Watson Looking to Thrive

Andre Watson earned All-Conference honors a season ago. His play in both the secondary and as a punt returner proved to be very valuable to the Golden Eagles as the season rolled into the month of December. Andre picked off three passes and batted down three more as Conference USA quarterbacks made it a point to look away from the talented Watson.

Andre's play this year will be extremely important as the Golden Eagle defense will look to improve their pass defense numbers from a year ago where the team was fifth best in the league against the forward pass.

"We are all out there working hard," said the Ocean Springs High school alumnus. "We are doing real good. We have some young guys coming up and we have a lot of experience. We will have two seniors out there and C.J. Bailey played a lot last year too."

The veteran leadership of the group is an extremely valuable asset for newly hired assistant coach Travaris Robinson.

"It's just been business as usual for us," said Watson. "You can't get caught up in what coach is coming and what coach is going and all of that.

"I like our new coach. He is a good young coach and he can relate to what we are going through. He's been through what we are going through. He has seen it all before, so he understands."

Coach Robinson, a veteran of two seasons in the NFL, has been pushing Andre to be even better than he was a season ago.

"He is working with me a lot on my technique," said Watson. "I have a whole lot to work on to be even better. I am just working to get stronger in everything, so I can be the best I can be."

The Golden Eagles closed the season with five straight wins. It should come as no surprise that the defensive effort in those contests were some of the best showings of the year. Down the stretch Watson and his defensive teammates allowed just over 12 points per game.

"A lot of guys are practicing with a lot of confidence," said Andre. "After winning five games in a row, we know we can go out and compete with anybody."

Watson believes that the spirited competition he sees in practice everyday prepares him to compete with the nation's elite.

"I am always working on my technique," said the Mississippi Gulf Coast transfer. "I am just always getting ready to go compete. We have some great receivers, so I feel like I am seeing the best receivers in practice everyday. If I can compete with them, I can compete with anybody."

Andre and the rest of the Golden Eagles will take their spring practice show in the road this Friday as they relocate to Madison Central High School.

The practice will begin at 5:30 and it is open to the public. All Golden Eagle fans are encouraged to attend to get a sneak preview of the 2009 Southern Miss football team.

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