July 22, 2006

Teammates thrilled to have Watts back

The announcement by free safety Marcus Watts on June 13 that he was cleared to return to action spurred smiles among teammates anxious for the sight of the 6-foot-1, 191-pounder on the field. The junior and emotional leader is listed as a second-team All-Big 12 selection by at least one preseason magazine. What will he do in the opener against Illinois State on Sept. 2? Teammates ponder his return.

"What can Watts do now?" senior linebacker Brandon Archer repeated? "I don't know that answer. But he's a guy that's going to do what it takes to get it done."

Watts' 71 tackles are the third most of any returning defensive back and the most by any junior in secondary entering this fall. He finished second in total tackles for the Wildcats, behind only Archer (72) and still seeks his first interception and sack. Watts was timed at a 4.38 prior to the 2005 season.

Watts suffering a dislocated left hip in the final game of the 2005 season against Missouri and spent seven months rehabilitating from the career-threatening injury.

Junior cornerback Justin McKinney indicated there was nobody like Watts in the Wildcats' secondary, which looks to improve upon its 11th-place ranking in the Big 12 in pass efficiency defense.

"I've been waiting so long for Marcus to get back because he's a big part of our defense," McKinney said.

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