After seeing limited action in 2021, R-Sophomore DB Kenyatta Watson II will not only look to fill the shoes of now-departed cornerbacks Tobias Oliver and Tre Swilling, but he will also be a vital member of a secondary that needs to show improvement. It’s no secret that Georgia Tech’s pass defense last season struggled to keep Tech in games. In case you needed a reminder, the Jackets finished 2021 with the 207th-ranked pass defense (273 YPG). Watson II will have to undergo another coaching change as the Texas transfer is only in his second year on the Flats, but his athletic ability and maturity (even though he’s listed as a R-Sophomore) should help here.
When he initially announced his transfer, we highlighted his athleticism and physicality, two things that we hope to see on the field this fall. And if the Spring Game is any indicator, that hope is likely to become reality. Listed at 6’1” 175 pounds, he is on the taller side for a cornerback, which allows him to more effectively contest 50/50 balls. The clip below, from the Spring Game, shows that ability.
If that throw was just a little deeper, it likely would have been reeled in by BlackStrain, but it wasn’t. And smaller CB’s would have likely still been beat. Plays like this, even though it was in the Spring Game, work wonders to build confidence heading into a new season. Look for Watson to take some large strides in 2022.
Side Note - his father, Kenyatta Watson Sr, was recently hired as the Director of Scouting and Pro Liaison. The benefits of his connection to the Atlanta area hopefully help change the direction of the program, but it’s not outlandish to assume that his relationship with Watson II will have short-term direct impacts on the field. I believe it will be for the positive.