Junior Craig Watts is in his third season as a member of the Gibbs High varsity football team. The highly recruited defensive back has seen the Gladiators improve from a team that hoped to win a few games to a team that expects to win. Tonight, Gibbs kicks off the regular season at St. Petersburg High, a team the Gladiators haven't beaten since 2009. Watts talked about the season and the team's new attitude.
It's finally game week. All those boring summer workouts are over. Have you ever been more excited for a season to start?
"It's finally here. The team is prepped and ready to play. This year we have players who are ready to step up."
Does there seem to be a different vibe around here than in years past?
"It's very positive. Everyone on this team believes we have a chance of going to the playoffs. It wasn't that way when I was a freshman. It was crazy. But now we all believe."
You've been getting offers from big schools like Florida and Ohio State. Do you look at this season as a way to prove you are a Division 1 recruit?
"Yes. This year I have a chance to show that I can play. I like playing defensive back the most, but I'll also play tailback."
Rodney Page, Times staff writer