Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Kickin' back | Dekoda Watson

Kickin' back with Tampa Bay Buccaneers rookie linebacker Dekoda Watson

To start with a sensitive subject, I don't believe you beat Florida while you were at Florida State. Any regrets?

Of course. But that's pretty much the case with any team you play. That game is a rival team. … I regret it, but at the same time, I'm still there at Florida State, even though I'm not there. If and when it happens, you won't be able to tell me nothing. I'm still part of that team.

Have you been in a game in your career more heated than that one?

Maybe (against) Miami. But personally, for me, it was Clemson. I took it personally because they didn't offer me (a scholarship). That was always personal for me.

Did you want to go there when you were growing up?

Not at all. It was just a respect thing, I thought. I was a nice recruit in South Carolina. I mean, they could at least show me some interest, right? But I went to Florida State, so it all worked out.

Do you think Florida State is close to getting back on top?

Without a doubt. I've been telling people that for a long time. Florida State, right now, is like a forest. It gets burned down and it's in ashes, but what grows back is a better forest. I just feel like we're rebuilding. Jimbo Fisher is there, and I think he's doing a heck of a job getting a coaching staff together that can relate to the players. It's a younger staff, and I think they'll really be able to relate to the players. I think there are a lot of positive things going on there right now at Florida State, and we're going to be back on top.

Here's our first weekly question: What is playing the most on your iPod right now?

I would say (rapper) Rick Ross, his most recent album. Tears of Joy, with Cee-Lo, is probably one of my favorite (songs). Rick Ross is really standing out to me.

And what website do you think you visit the most right now?

I'd say Google, because I've been trying to look at images and see what new pictures they have of me so I can (use) them as my status on BBM (BlackBerry Messenger). Either that or, just looking for things to try to give back to my family and the people that I love.

What's your best youth football memory?

A lot of people can't understand this because I play linebacker now, but back then, I was probably the softest player. I didn't like to hit. I didn't like to run the ball. I didn't like to have any contact at all. I think this was in elementary school. I played for the Aiken (S.C.) Tigers. The peewee team. We (stunk) so bad. We didn't win any games except for maybe one.

Maybe you should have hit someone?

I'm telling you, I was afraid to. But one day, what happened is, it just clicked. I said, "Okay, it seems like it hurts a lot more to receive a hit, so let me deliver a hit." So it was like I was a new bull in the ring. One night, you couldn't tell me nothing. I just started laying the wood on everyone. I was hitting people so hard that other players would get the ball and I'd be right there, so they would just go down on the ground. It was fun. I think that was my most memorable moment. And my most memorable conversation was with my dad. Now, he says, "If you would have told me back then that my son was going to be an NFL player … Get the heck out of here." I mean, I didn't hit anybody.

So why did it click all of a sudden?

I don't know. I think I was tired of getting hit all the time. I think there was one play when I was playing running back that just changed me. I was running, and there was this one kid … he stuck his forearm out. And this is a big guy. So he just stuck his forearm out, and my neck just caught it. I flipped and I landed flat on the ground. Then I opened my eyes and saw black. Then I opened my eyes again — black. Then I finally saw light, so I figured, "Okay, I'm back." I don't think I ever ran the ball again.

So, today, who would you say is your biggest fan?

It's got to be my parents. I mean, they've been supporting me since Day 1. They've always been there. When I was at Florida State, they only missed two games. They went to California, Utah — it didn't matter. My dad is near and dear to me. When I tell you I can spot him in any stadium I play in, I'm serious. I can spot my daddy. It's just that type of family atmosphere with us, unconditional love. We weren't the wealthiest people in the world, but they always made a way. So I just try to pay them back (while) knowing that I would never be able to repay them. They're definitely my biggest fans.


Dekoda Watson

Position: Linebacker

Age: 22

Height, weight: 6-2, 240 pounds

Hometown: Aiken, S.C.

College: Florida State; had 32 starts; finished with 61/2 sacks and 13 tackles for loss as a senior in 2009.

Pro: Drafted in the seventh round in 2010; made first start against Carolina on Nov. 14; has 18 tackles and stars on special teams.

Kickin' back with Tampa Bay Buccaneers rookie linebacker Dekoda Watson 11/27/10 [Last modified: Saturday, November 27, 2010 4:28pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Ever since the Bucs made Gerald McCoy the third overall pick in the 2010 NFL draft, he has struggled to overcome the shadow cast by Pro Bowl defensive tackle Warren Sapp.
  2. HomeTeam 100: Players 41-50


    Bulldog QB Charles Harrison III, (12) during the fourth quarter of the Zephyrhills at Nature Coast High School football game on Friday, 11/11/16.
  3. Lake Tarpon bass tournament still going strong after nearly 40 years (w/video)


    Matt Smith, left, and Gary Muchler, work to bring a large mouth bass into Smith's bass boat with only minutes to spare while fishing off Dolly Bay in Lake Tarpon during the Lake Tarpon Tuesday Night Bass Fishing Tournament on Tuesday (7/18/17). The fish sealed second place for the duo.
  4. Rays series preview: Who are the Orioles?


    After the Rangers swept them over the weekend, the Rays won't have much time to rest, with 14 games scheduled for the next 14 days. The second half of their homestand begins tonight against the Orioles. Here's the information you need to know about Baltimore before the action kicks off.

    Starter Wade Miley has melted down after a hot start.
  5. Sergio Romo celebrates striking out Miguel Cabrera of the Detroit Tigers to win Game Four of the Major League Baseball World Series at Comerica Park in 2012.