For three former Petal Panthers, their journey to D-1 football led them back to their “home” at Petal High School to sign their letters of intent to play at the next level two years after successful JUCO athletes.
Natorian and Nataurean Watts who both played at Jones College after playing at Petal signed with Tulane University while Marquise Bridges signed to play for Northwestern State University.
What Natorian Watts had to say
On what this day means to him and his supporters
“It is a surreal moment. I’m ready to get down to Tulane and do what I need to do. To get to play with my brother again is going to feel good. Coming back here feels like home. They are big supporters, even when I was at Jones College and Marquise was at Mississippi Gulf Coast. They kept in touch with us and if we needed anything they were supportive.”
On playing with his brother
“Of course. We’ve been playing together with each other our whole lives because we are twins. We’ve never done anything separately. So, it meant a lot.”
On playing in the AAC and the competition level within the conference
“I love the competition. It was the reason I decided to go to Tulane. They have UCF and Memphis. We are going to go and try to be the top dogs. When we get there we will be.”
What Nataurean Watts had to say
On what it means for him to sign with Tulane University
“It was a big relief, but a long time coming. We’ve been working hard just to get to this moment. I’m ready to get down to Tulane and get started.”
What spending to years at Jones College did to develop him
“It developed me as a person and as a man. Coach Buckley did a good job of developing us while holding us accountable. I feel like I’m more prepared in life now.”
On what he brings to the table for Tulane University
“I’m different. I can play everything and have played both sides of the ball. I’ll be playing at wide receiver at Tulane, though.”
What Marquise Bridges had to say
On coming back to Petal to sign with Northwestern State University
It is a blessing for me. To get this opportunity again after going JUCO football, then for all of us to sign and play D-1 football it is a real blessing. This s an amazing moment to be able to share with family and friends. This was the perfect place to do it.
On his time at Mississippi Gulf Coast
“The coaches, the teammates, we all formed a brotherhood. The entire environment was amazing. It helped me become a better player and a better person.”
On why he chose Northwestern State University
“The same reason I chose to play at Mississippi Gulf Coast. The environment, and coaches. It just felt like that’s where God wanted me to go.”
To see Natorian Watts' full interview click here.
To see Nataurean Watts' full interview click here.
To see Marquise Bridges' full interview click here.