Hello, Watkins Family and supporters, it's that time of the year again. Football season has started, and it's time to spend time with some of our great Watkins Award men playing college football at the highest level. I realize we need to expand this to Baseball with Elijah Green and the NFL with all our players in the league. Be assured it will be coming very soon. Week 1 has a singular focus on the one special Aeneas DiCosmo at Vanderbilt. It seems like college football is starting earlier and earlier, but I spent Labor Day weekend with this remarkable young man and his mother, Maia!
Aeneas DiCosmo (a.k.a AD/Coz) is from the heralded class of 2019 and is now the starting outside linebacker for Vanderbilt. The Watkins Class of 2019 already has 3 of his classmates performing in the NFL, and he may be joining them soon. AD spent his four years at Stanford under the tutelage of David Shaw. While there, he battled and worked hard to find his way into a defense that didn't fit his skill set. In his last season at Stanford, a change in scheme showed a resurgence in his ability to perform at the college level, and he emerged as a starting defensive end. His tree trunk thighs, passion, hustle, and instinct for the ball made it difficult for Stanford to keep off the field. After graduating from Stanford in 3.5 years, he took his talents to Vanderbilt. Yes, I said, "Graduating from Stanford in 3.5 Years", as that is what Watkins Men Do!! Looking for a fresh start and a new opportunity, he decided to add a postgraduate degree from Vanderbilt. He is playing football at the highest level and conquering two of the most challenging college academic curriculums. Outside of those tree trunks he refers to as legs, you wouldn't recognize him as the same player. Vanderbilt has him playing what they call the "Star" position on defense. Vanderbilt football enthusiasts say it is one of the most demanding and vital positions on defense. He can be found on the line in a 3-point stance on any given play and another split out as an edge rusher. AD will drop back into coverage in the next space and defend a receiver or tight end. Watching Aeneas on the field, I noticed skills never displayed in years past. More importantly, Coz is out there having fun and smiling, which has been absent these past few years because he is a new man on a new team doing new things! Watch him emerge as a New and great player. As I mentioned at the beginning of this write-up, my man Aeneas graduated with his degree from Stanford in International Film Studies and Production. He will graduate from Vanderbilt with an MBA. What an incredible representation of what a Watkins Man will always do: stay focused on education!
I attended the game with his lovely mother, Maia, who blessed us this past year with a message at the Watkins Award Banquet. Spending time with this remarkable woman and his college friend Keesha is always a pleasure. We had some soul food, breakfast, libations, and a great Labor Day football weekend. Maia sends her hello and regards to the entire Watkins Family. Talk to you next weekend from Detroit!