More Pre-Season All-American Honors for Gabe Watson

More Pre-Season All-American Honors for Gabe Watson

SIOUX FALLS – Seven-time All-American Gabriel Watson of the University of Sioux Falls Football Team, who finished fifth in the balloting for the Harlon Hill a year ago, continues to earn preseason honors leading to the 2019 NCAA DII football season.

Today (July 15), Watson was selected to the 2019 College Football America Yearbook Division II Preseason Starting Lineup, CFAY’s version of an All-America team.
Earlier this summer, Watson, who was named USF’s Male Student of the Year this spring, was selected to the 2019 Lindy’s College Football Magazine and the Street and Smith Magazine College Football 2019 NCAA DII All-America teams. He was a first-team selection at running back on each of those publications which were released in June. He has been named to seven All-American teams since his arrival at USF.

Named one of 32 honor athletes as named by the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference last spring, Watson had a spectacular 2018 season as he helped the Cougars to a 7-4 record while setting numerous rushing marks at USF. After running for 1,957 yards (second in NCAA DII) on 269 carries with an NCAA DII-high 26 rushing TDs, Watson was named the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference Player of the Year, the D2 CCA Super Region 4 Offensive Player of the Year and Don Hansen Super Region Four Offensive Player of the Year, and a Harlon Hill Award finalist during the 2018 season. He was selected to five All-American Teams (Don Hansen, D2Football.com, AFCA, Associated Press and D2 Conference Commissioner’s Association) as he led the nation in rushing average per game (177.9) and scoring average (14.2 ppg) while leading USF to a 25th straight winning season.

A 6-1, 221-pound running back, Watson of Piedmont, Calif., led NCAA DII in three rushing or scoring categories. Watson finished fifth in the voting for the Harlon Hill Trophy as the DII Player of the Year. Watson was the first student-athlete at USF to advance into the HarlonHill finalist group. He had a school-record 11 straight games of 100 yards or more rushing while accumulating a regular season NCAA-high and USF single season mark of 1,957 yards (second overall in DII) on 269 carries with an NCAA DII-high 26 TDs.

In setting eight school records, Watson had the top per game average of 177.8 yards per carry in DII, which is also a USF school record. Of players with 200 carries or more, Watson registered the top per rush average of 7.41. The 1,957 yards rushing by Watson broke Max Mickey’s school record of 1,764 of 2016. Watson’s 26 touchdowns is the most in a single season in USF’s DII history and second overall (David Ruter, 29 TDs, 1988). He also led the nation with 14.2 points per game on his 26 rushing scores.

In 2018, Watson had 200 yards rushing and three touchdowns in the first game he played at USF, which was a dramatic 27-24 win over Concordia-St. Paul in the home opener.

A senior exercise science major, Watson followed up that opening game performance with games of 172 yards and 193 yards. Against Minot State, he accumulated 205 yards rushing on 15 carries with two touchdowns and played just the first half. Watson had a breakout season in his first year with USF.

A first-team All-NSIC honoree, Watson was named the D2Football.com National Player of the Week after setting a single game USF rushing record of 320 yards on 19 carries with five TDs against MSU Moorhead. In that game, he played just three quarters. A three-time NSIC Player of the Week, he recorded seven games of 150 yards or more with three games of at least 200 yards or more. Watson scored two or more TDs in a game eight times and had at least three TDs four times.

Categories: College Sports, Colleges – University of Sioux Falls, Sports, Sports Top Story