#CFCOPC PLAYERS TO WATCH: Team Central Varsity RB Watkins ready for big stage

The countdown begins to CanadaFootballChat.com’s Ontario Prospect Challenge (OPC) on the April 29th weekend at Tim Horton’s Field in Hamilton. In the days leading up to the OPC, CFC will preview the teams and the players participating in the big event.

When you see a play, one actor’s performance can stick in your mind and while the same can be said about football, Aaron Watkins of Team Central Varsity is hoping to be one of those memorable performers.

All the world’s a stage and we’re but merely players and the same sentiment rings true for the Ontario Prospect Challenge. Watkins said he chose to play in the OPC because “it is an excellent opportunity to display my skills on a larger scale with a reputable organization.”

“The highlight of the OPC has been getting to know different players around the league as well as meeting coaches that will assist me as I embark on my football career,” he added.

Watkins is starting his third season with the Oshawa Hawkeyes (Ontario Varsity Football League). Prior to that, he played with Sinclair Secondary Celtics (Lake Ontario Secondary School Athletics) and the Ajax/Pickering Dolphins (Ontario Minor Football League).

(The Ajax/Pickering Dolphins have since been renamed the Durham Dolphins).

The young player is 5’6, 184lbs and plays as a running back. “What I like about my current position is my ability to aid my team by using my agility, speed, versatility and power by blocking, catching and running the ball.”

While there are many talented running backs in professional football, Watkins draws inspiration from a quarterback instead. He said he is inspired by Michael Vick, a current NFL free agent. “The reason why I feel he inspires me is because of his ability to overcome trials and tribulations,” he said.

“Throughout his career, he has maintained his talent and has a successful football career,” he added.

With this year’s OPC taking place at Tim Hortons Field, Watkins said he is extremely excited for this opportunity as it will allow him to experience football at the next level. When you appear on such a big stage, there is bound to be some pressure. The young football player has a strategy to coup however.

“I will handle the pressure by not only turning my focus and energy 100% to the game, but I will also spend time in prayer,” Watkins said.

Aaron Watkins sprints down the field. Courtesy of Samantha Watkins.

Aaron Watkins sprints down the field. Courtesy of Samantha Watkins.

Watkins will be graduating high school in 2017. His goals are to receive a university scholarship and ultimately be drafted into the NFL. While he has not chosen a school yet, he has been researching many schools and would like to play either in the NCAA or CIS.

Beyond football, Watkins said his goals are to do well in school, have a financially successful and secure career and have the opportunity to help others.

During the OPC, Watkins said he would like to make his name known in the football community. However, similar to how it takes a cast and crew to make a production, it takes coaches and teammates to make a player.

Watkins said, “I would like to improve my skill by learning from defensive coaches as well as playing with some of the best football players that challenge me and help me to grow and be an athlete.”

While one actor cannot make a show, one player cannot make a game. That’s why a good team mentality is important. “The team’s goal is to work together as a team that develops chemistry and comradery that results in us ending on top by the end of the game,” Watkins said.

Advocating for football prospects one story at a time.

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