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Baltimore County Sports

Calvert Hall's Watson shows his stuff on, off the field

Calvert Hall senior BJ Watson is a true triple threat.

In addition to his football prowess, Watson carries a weighted 4.0 GPA and tutors elementary students in his spare time for the Stars of God Foundation.

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He's also active in Calvert Hall's National Honor Society, Latin Honor Society and the Chess Club.

Watson has a full slate of activities, but he's best known for his eye-catching speed.

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He was timed at 4.28 seconds in the 40-yard dash last year. That earned him an invitation as a wide receiver to the Blue-Grey All-American Bowl in Jacksonville, Fla., in January.

After he completes his senior year, he will attend Harvard, where he will play football.

He chose the Crimson over offers from Navy, Princeton, Yale and Dartmouth.

Until then, he will make the most of his senior year as a running back. He's also a standout on special teams.

He opened the season with an 85-yard kickoff return for a touchdown in a 34-18 victory over St. Mary's on

As a junior, he rushed for 824 yards on 122 carries.

In the winter and spring, Watson used his blazing speed for track to earn five varsity letters. He finished second in the 100-meter dash in the MIAA championships last spring.

Why did you pick Harvard?

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"I chose Harvard because I always want to be the best. I look at Harvard as being one of the best universities in the world and so few people can even say they set foot on Harvard's campus. At the same time, I like the football team. I like the football coaches, the atmosphere and the whole city environment at Harvard. It feels like home. The location is great, too. It's right outside of Boston."

What do you want to do for a career?

"Growing up, I have always wanted to do something in communications. I wanted to be a sports analyst or a broadcaster. Something along those lines. That might change since I am going to Harvard. I could be an astrophysicist. I could be involved in cyber warfare and doing things that involve technology and computers because I am good at those type of things."

Did you always put academics ahead of athletics?

"Yes. If I am ever slacking in any class, I will make sure I see the teacher before I go out to practice. Or, if I have a big homework assignment on a project, I will finish that before I start doing things I need to do football-wise, like stretching or icing something down. I do the best I can with it and knock it out. When it comes to a list of priorities, I always put the academic things above the football things. I have definitely had to sacrifice a social life. I can't always go out with people and just can't go home and sit down and watch TV or play a video game. It's all about homework."

Do you every time you touch the ball want to score a touchdown?

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"I know coach (Donald) Davis always tells us, 'Get what yards you can get. Stick your foot in the ground and get five yards.' But this year, every time I am touching the ball, I am looking to score. That's my thinking. I always have high expectations for myself, and I do feel I have improved as a player. I feel if I am always looking to score. If you hit the hole at full speed like you are trying to get 80 yards, if you break a tackle here or there, you will still get your five yards."

What did you get out of attending several football camps around the country this past summer?

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"I went to fewer camps this summer than I did going into my junior year. I was more focused on where I may go to college. I went to camps at Duke, Wake Forest and Navy, which were all schools that I could actually see myself going to. I also went to the Blue-Grey All-American (combine). I focused on those camps other than doing camps left and right so I can stay healthy for the season. I ran in the 4.27 (in the 40-yard dash) at the Blue-Grey camp. I ran 4.3 and I ran 4.4 at Wake Forest. I knew I would run 4.4, but when I started running in the 4.3s, that was kind of surprising for me and the coaches."

What do you get out of tutoring students?

"I like to help everybody reach their potential. That's what I really enjoy. Certain kids definitely have it in them, but they may have been brought up in an environment where school and academics is not their focus."

What do you do to relax after a game?

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"Games are usually Friday night, so it's late. I usually just go home, ice down and go to sleep. If the film is up by the time I get home, I will watch the game, then go to sleep."

What do you like to do for fun when you are not playing football?

"I really enjoy chess as one of my things. If I have a lot of time and I am in a chess mood, I will find different techniques and strategies. Sometimes, I will play some of my friends from Calvert Hall online. I play chess on a board, but you can also play on an app."


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