The travails of Derek Watson have been well-chronicled, so I won’t go into detail. But here are a few moments I remember from his Greek tragedy of a college career:
- Busting off a long run near the end of the hurricane game against NC State in Lou Holtz’ first game as Gamecock coach. A long run that gave us hope for the future and made us all say, “this guy’s got a chance”.
- His 20-some yard touchdown run that sealed the stunning 2000 upset of #9 Georgia. I can still see him running up on the end zone camera, crossing his arms and nodding his head. I thought it was cool, but Lou didn’t. It wasn’t the last time #22 would disappoint Lou.
- “The Fade” game against Mississippi State. Returns a kickoff for a touchdown that is unfortunately called back by a stupid penalty. Then MSU returns a Watson fumble for a touchdown, and he completely goes in the tank (he fumbled again later, maybe even twice, if I’m not mistaken.) Then he runs out of bounds while we’re trying to run out the clock. A bad day for Watson that ended spectacularly for the Gamecocks.
- His long run against Clemson in “The Push” game. This one is a little telling to me, in that he does something really good, and ends it with something really stupid.
Wherever you are Derek, I hope you got it turned around.