LEXINGTON, Ky (WTVQ) – Senior outside linebacker Boogie Watson has been knocking on the door of a breakthrough.
As a junior, He finished last season 6th in the SEC in sacks. Before spring football was cut short do to the pandemic, Watson says he was at the top of his game.
“I kinda felt the best just physically and knowing the whole playbook,” Watson said. “I felt like I was finally putting it all together. That first practice I was moving probably the best I’ve moved. My pass rushes were looking the best since I’ve been here, especially for spring ball. I think I was definitely building off the end of last season.”
When Solid Blue fans think of an outside linebacker having a breakout year, former national defensive player of the year Josh Allen comes to mind. There are similarities.
In 2018, as a sophomore Watson had a sack in four-straight games. Who was the last player to do that? Josh Allen when he was a sophomore.
Watson had 5 sacks in all of 2018…behind josh Allen.
Coming out of high school, both were low-ranked recruits. Boogie was a three-star recruit and Allen was a two star.
Last season, Watson had 6 and half sacks and as a junior Allen had 7.
The comparisons make sense.
“I love it. It motivates me. It shows me that people think I have the ability, the natural ability to kinda do what he did while he was here. Everyone knows what he’s done when he was here, it’s no secret. Having a breakout year, SEC Player of the Year, and going on to be the #7 draft pick. So for me, it motivates me. It gives me a bar to reach every time I go to work.”
The big question, Can Watson make the jump Allen made as a senior?
Watson knows how to take his game to that level.
“I’d say finishing plays. If you go back and look at the film and talk to Coach White, the amount of sacks I probably left on the field. I probably left four or five sacks where I just missed the ball by a half an inch or let the guy slip out of my hands and throw it out of bounds or something like that. Add those three or four and we’re talking about 10.5 sacks instead of 6.5. I feel like if I just finish those plays and keep grinding and try to put my best foot forward.”