The Raider Ramble had the chance to talk to Maryland star linebacker, 2018 First Team All-Big Ten selection and future NFL player Tre Watson.
We appreciate the time you’re taking to chat with us. How are you feeling about last season, Tre?
I feel good. I feel like the season went well for me and my team and all that, you know? Onto the next stage of things.
You sound pretty chill, very calm, very casual.
Yeah, I mean, I’d say that’s how I am for the most part just kind of with everything. Definitely this process, there’s a lot that goes into it. Can’t really stress over it too much. Take it as it goes, be along for the ride.
Is there something you do to stay focus? How do you remain calm?
That’s just my own personal temperament. I feel like everyone is different in those kinds of situations. I don’t think everyone has the same mindset that I have. Football is a very intense game and there’s a lot of emotion involved. It’s just how I am in general. I’m confident and at the same time just relax in general.
You would agree that not everyone reacts the same way.
Everyone is different and responds to things and prepare for them in different ways. There’s going to be a variety of personalities in the locker room. Everyone has to stay humble. Someone more intense all of the sudden will just be kind of laid back.
You weren’t invited to the NFL Scouting Combine, what are you doing in the meantime in preparation for the NFL Draft?
Any pre-draft training really is the same for combine guys and those who aren’t. I’m still preparing, working out every day, doing the same thing, focusing on that every day. That’s kind of like the mode I’m in right now.
How do you spend your free time?
There’s plenty of different things I do away from football. I play video games, I watch movies a lot. Anything related to traveling. Relax or playing games, watching movies and TV. I’m not really someone that needs to be caught doing something all of the sudden…
What was the last movie that you watched?
I watch a lot of Netflix movies. Anything Marvel, DC; I’ve seen a lot of those. Whatever’s out, whatever’s new, I’ve probably seen it.
There’s nothing that you look forward to watching? John Wick 3 is coming out. Infinitive War is coming out too.
I see everything that is new and exciting whenever it comes out. I know Captain Marvel is coming out next month so that will be pretty interesting. The new Avengers movie is coming out in a couple months, that will be big.
What about videogames, do you play a lot?
I play a lot. I play sports games, shooting games. Fornite is pretty big right now. I play that.
If you had the opportunity to select what team you would go to, who would you like to play for?
That’s tough. I don’t even know if there’s one that I really have in mind. I think that more than anything. what I want is to play on a team that is going to compete for Super Bowls, be in the playoffs, be in big moments. That’s just what I have always dreamt on doing. You get to the NFL, you want to get to that point. Other than that, I just want to play on a team with great defense, play in front of some great defensive linemen, they make the linebacker’s job a lot easier. All-around great defense, that’s something I have always wanted to be a part of at any level.
Would you prefer to start right away or wait on the bench for two years and learn from the best?
The NFL is the highest level of football there is so I don’t expect to walk in and it be a walk in the park. I expect to earn my respect on the field and practice. If it takes time, it takes time. Not everyone just comes in straight to the top right off the bat. I wouldn’t certainly be concerned of having to take some lumps and learn.
Is there a defensive coordinator you would like to play for?
That’s a good question. I don’t know if there’s one coordinator, I know there’s a lot of great defensive coordinators. The defensive coordinator for the Patriots in the Super Bowl (Brian Flores). He’s highly regarded and just got a head coaching job. It would probably be great to play for him and he’s a linebackers guy, so that’d be fun. Wade Phillips, who is with the Rams. He’s been doing some great things with them; that would be great as well. Either one of those or anyone who likes to experiment and be attacking on defense I’d like to play for.
Are you ok with the “my way or the highway” kind of coaches?
It would take adjusting, but it would work over time. You are coming in as a young player. It’s your job to acclimate to whatever so that would be fine with me.
How comfortable would you feel about taking a leadership role?
Anyone can lead a team. You can’t be forced into that role. whether you’re young or old, it doesn’t matter. The biggest thing that helps guys lead and be successful in that kind of role is earning the respect of the guys around you, which can happen fast or it can take years to develop. That just depends on the guys stepping into that role. If that role needs to be filled, I would certainly not have a problem doing it. First, my goal would be to earn the respect of the guys around me so that we can play well together. If the opportunity presented itself to take a front center kind of role, I surely wouldn’t hesitate to do so.
You sound very focused, were you the same way when you started your college career?
Coming out of high school, you are much younger. There’s also a lot more to learn. Also coming into a different environment, I believed in the same approach. I had to earn the respect of my teammates, my coaches. I had to work my way to the point where people would listen to what I had to say, which certainly took time. You had to be patient sometimes you have to learn that not everything is going to go the way you want it to go. I definitely took a very similar approach and it worked out for me.
Would you see learning many positions as an advantage?
Being able to be versatile and play where the team wants you to play can only help. There are only 11 guys who are allowed to be on the field at one time. The more you can know to serve yourself up. I’ve played multiple linebacker spots in college. I’d certainly be down to do the same.
You haven’t thought of any franchise in particular, but what about cities?
I have always lived in Tampa, Florida and Phoenix, Arizona my entire life. I’ve lived in bigger cities, cities with a lot of people, with a lot of things going on. I feel comfortable in places like that. There’s a lot of NFL teams, there’s a lot of big cities. There’s a lot of places that I’d be excited to play at and just be able to live in general, LA, New York. Even the Cardinals in Arizona, Miami, Jacksonville. Everywhere that would have that level of excitement, I’d be comfortable going anywhere like that.
Would you feel comfortable going to Tennessee, where there are more deer than people?
I’ve been to Tennessee before, been to Nashville. It’s a really nice area. I certainly wouldn’t be opposed to it. It has a great roster as well so I wouldn’t mind it at all.
How would you feel about playing for the Raiders?
It would be a lot of fun playing for the Raiders. A franchise with an incredibly rich history, extremely well-respected coach. They’re going to be moving to Vegas. I think next year, so that would be crazy as it gets. I’ve been to Vegas once and Vegas is awesome so I can’t imagine being there all the time. It’d be a great experience.
If you were to live in Las Vegas, what show would you like to see?
When I went, we went to a Circo de Solei show; that was pretty cool. Blue Man Group are still very popular. Other than that, I don’t know many shows.
One last question, if you had the opportunity to say something to the Raider Nation, what would you tell them?
If the Raiders end up picking me, I feel like I’m going to bring a lot to the table and bring a lot of excitement to the fanbase and do everything I can to get the Raiders to the top. We’ll see how things go. Obviously, there’s a long way from right now, but there’s a one out of 32 chance. If the opportunity presents itself, I will get ready for work and have some fun.