National Alliance of African-American Athletes
Watkins Game of The Week
Week 2 takes me to one of my favorite campuses in Duke University against Virginia Tech. I find it completely surreal how the football facilities have completely transformed over the past few years. Having visited just about every major college football program, it’s a guarantee that there are none better. Their opponent VA Tech has also captured their first Watkins man. Duke with Rakavius Chambers, Brandon Hill, and Mataeo Durant and VA Tech with Quincy Patterson.
Duke has three Watkins men and I will start out with Brandon Hill (Watkins Class of 2016) now playing all special teams and second on the depth chart at linebacker. Brandon is a special blend of grace, speed and power. I am anxious to see him put it all together on the field. His first two seasons were marred by injuries that nagged him and prevented him from reaching his full potential. This season he is playing behind a linebacker projected as a first round draft pick. Unless an injury occurs he will have the next two seasons to show what he can do at linebacker. He is impatiently waiting for his chance to make a full mark on the Duke Football program. I have confidence next year we will be talking about him as the leading tackler on team. For now, he is a very important contributor on special teams where I hear his name called on every tackle. Brandon is also tackling his academics as a biology major three years into his goal to become a physician. Brandon is like a tiger in a cage waiting to break out, trust you will hear his roar. Rakavius Chambers (Watkins Class of 2017) as the starting offensive tackle for Duke. Rakavius (aka ROCK) is in his second year as a starter as he seized the starting nod the second half of his freshman season. Last season Rakavius started out sharing time with a senior. As the season progressed, I watched him transition to his starting position before the conclusion of the season. This year he is simply dominating his opposition. Once you see him on the football field you will instantly see why they call him Rock. He is definitely looking to be among the best offensive linemen I have seen in the Watkins family. As he has dominated his opponents on the field, he has dominated a very rigorous pre-med curriculum at Duke. His enthusiasm to continue a path to become a vascular surgeon remains even stronger. Lastly new comer Mataeo Durant (Watkins Class of 2018) working hard to get into the running back rotation. Mataeo entered Duke as one of the best running backs in the nation. Currently Duke uses a 3 running back rotation and Taeo is number four. He may get some opportunities the remainder of the season as one of their running backs went down with an injury and the other is playing thru injury. His body looks ready and when given an opportunity he will step up. I am extremely proud of how these young men are navigating an extremely challenging academic institution while working hard to get better on the field and exemplify what it means to be Watkins men.
Virginia Tech has their first Watkins man in Quincy Patterson (Watkins Class of 2018). Quincy joins the Virginia Tech program as one if the top quarterbacks in the nation and an all-state linebacker. His growth during his senior season in high school as an elite quarterback was tremendous. Although their starting quarterback went down with a broken leg it still looks like Quincy is poised to exercise his red shirt option as a freshman. I asked myself why a Chicago city young man would go all the way to Blacksburg VA to play football; it was very puzzling to me. But when I inquired, Quincy said they had the best engineering program for me and that’s the most important element of my decision. I couldn’t ask for more. He is just starting his studies and enjoying the challenges and should challenge for the starting position next year!
This weekend may have been one of the most heavily attended games by Watkins award Board Members and volunteers numbering in 8. I was accompanied by Chairman Kevin Clark along with members Edward Ransom, David Williams, and Ron Peoples. As mentioned Duke under the leadership of Coach David Cutcliffe has grown and progressed at the speed of technology. One minute they were playing in a high school stadium and I blink my eyes and we are in a true first class college stadium with an accompanying workout and practice facility. Truly amazing! Virginia Tech ended up on the winning side of this competition as Duke will need to work through some injuries in key positions. Good win for VA Tech after losing to Old Dominion a week before. It was great to see all of these young men. After the game we also got to see all of the parents of the Duke men as they were all in attendance and each send their regards to the Watkins Family.
** Games of the week are the games that are featuring Watkins Alumni. Everette will be in attendance. The second team listed above is the home team should you plan to attend. You can follow him real time on Twitter at Everedy65Type your paragraph here.