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12/17/2014

Celebrate the Baylor football player who followed his heart

122738273_display_imageNot everybody who plays sports at a high level loves it, but they do it because they are good. They may not love ball, but they play ball because it is a means to a free education, or a six figure check.

Former Baylor offensive lineman Danny Watkins didn't care about the money, and he never cared that much about football. 

A first round pick of the Philadelphia Eagles in 2011, Watkins is the subject of this new, solid profile in Peter King's Monday Morning Quarterback. After two-plus seasons, Watkins is out of football. According to the MMQB story, he works as a firefighter north of Dallas. This is what he always wanted to do.

Watkins was a total bust who simply didn't care about ball. The signs of his indifference were there long before the Eagles selected him 23rd overall.

In the fall of 2010, I did this interview with Watkins where one answer stands above the rest:

Mac Engel: If you weren't playing football what would you be doing?
Danny Watkins:
 Back home in Canada working as a firefighter. That's all I ever wanted to do. It's a great job and I worked with the greatest bunch of guys in the world. You'll never find a better bunch of guys.

6a00e54f7fc4c588330133f4364e75970b-320wiWatkins is a Canadian who found football late, played at a junior college before Baylor coach Art Briles recruited him to play in Waco. Watkins was big, fast, athletic, smart, and his humility was disarming. Both Watkins and his story were huge hits after both before and after the 2011 NFL draft. 
 
When Watkins had extra time with the Eagles, he didn't spend it on game film or with his teammates. He was at local firehouses.
  
He just wasn't a very good pro because he didn't care. His heart was elsewhere.

Props to him for following it.
 
@MacEngelProf
Fort Worth Weekly's 2014 Hottest Local Male Celebrity
tengel@star-telegram.com
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