Tonka & Nyckoles
Watkins Game of the Week 3 took me to Rocky Top Tennessee for the Tennessee vs South Carolina Game. My last trip to Knoxville for a football game was to see the illustrious Josh Dobbs at quarterback. Tennessee Volunteers are a religion in that area. I saw the visiting team, South Carolina, with two of our Watkins Men in Tonka Hemingway and Nyckoles Harbor. Their work was cut out for them as the Gamecocks pulled the upset last year. The energy was intense, and I was ready for a treat.
Terrell "Tonka" Hemingway from the Watkins Class of 2020 is the starting defensive tackle for the South Carolina Gamecocks. Terrifying Tonka is from that fearless class of Watkins men who stared Covid 19 in the face and said I will be there for the Watkins Weekend in Washington DC. Tonka has a docile personality but is ferocious on the field. He is one of the few players to transition to a new coach before the era of the portal and come out on the positive end of things. I am sure this is from his quiet leadership and obsessive work ethic. Checking with all of my sources, Triple T is projected as a 2nd or 3rd-round pick in the 2024 NFL draft. As he got quality playing time as a sophomore, this is his second year as a starter and the staple of the defensive line. Watching his growth on the field every year has been very satisfying. You will definitely see this young man play on Sundays. As one of our highest GPA athletes in high school, you should not be surprised that Terrell Tonka Hemingway is terrorizing the classroom, graduating in just 3.5 years with a degree in.
Nyckoles Harbor is from our most recent 2023 class of the Watkins Award. Two Trick Nyck arrived on the South Carolina campus as a world-class sprinter and #1 recruit in football. The third trait is no trick, as he graduated with a 4.3 GPA. The biggest question about this young man on the football field is what position he will be asked to play at the University of South Carolina. Physically, he can perform at every position but quarterback! While attending his high school game, I viewed him playing 7 different positions. Standing 6'5" tall and weighing in at 245 while running a 10.1-second 100-meter dash, what position can't he play. I have never seen anything like this in all my years. Nyck is currently being showcased at the wide receiver position for the Gamecocks, but this could change at the drop of a hat based on the team's needs. I am excited to see him grow in both sports while he positions himself as the following legend on campus. It was fantastic to see him after the game, anxious to contribute and with that million-dollar smile. With a touchdown under his belt, the sky is the limit.
I watched the game with the Harbor family, and after the game, I caught up with the Hemingway's. How amazing to see both families! Nyck's mom braved a hip replacement to see her baby play, and the Hemingway family drove 8 hours each way without an overnight stay. Both families send their hello's and regards to the Watkins Family.