January 16, 2003
ATHENS, Ga. - University of Georgia junior tight end Ben Watson has decided to remain with the Bulldogs for his senior season after initially indicating he may leave for the NFL.
"When I made my decision (to turn pro), at that time, I thought that was est," Watson said. "But after much prayer, I think God wants me to stay here for my senior season. I still have unfinished business here in Athens.
"The biggest factor was the feeling I had after I declared. Playing in the NFL has always been my dream and I had a chance to go get it, but there was a lot of turmoil in my heart. I prayed, and I felt the Lord was leading me to come back here."
Watson, who will graduate at the end of the semester with a degree in finance, was the Bulldogs' third-leading receiver this past season with 31 receptions for 341 yards and three touchdowns. He helped the Bulldogs go 13-1 and win the Southeastern Conference championship.
"Certainly this is great news for Georgia," Bulldogs coach Mark Richt said. "His staying will have a great impact on our team from a leadership standpoint. With the entire offensive line graduating, this
puts him into a significant leadership role with our offense. And I think it is a great decision for him in terms of improving his draft status for next year. He'll be one of the leading tight ends in the
country this fall."
Watson, speaking in front of his several of his teammates, said he is looking forward to the 2003 campaign with the Bulldogs.
"We have a chance to win the national championship this year," Watson said. "We have enough talent to do it. I know it will be a whole new offense, but we have guys who can get it done."
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