DaJuan Morgan was a Kansas Metropolis Chiefs rookie defensive again in 2008 looking for the precise barber to offer him the right wave when he stumbled into a neighborhood store owned by Steven Watson.
Quickly after, Morgan was a daily within the Watson household residence for private cuts. A traditional barber-client relationship blossomed. Deep discussions. And infrequently sitting close by was Steven’s son, Josh, an brisk middle-schooler who dreamed of sometime enjoying skilled soccer.
“It wasn’t only a haircut once I would come over,” Morgan mentioned. “We’d discuss life, soccer and objectives.”
Stated Watson: “It was a blessing to see my dad have conversations with NFL gamers whereas reducing their hair, the issues that they’ve gone by means of in life and the sacrifices they need to make to get within the place they had been in to play within the NFL. I soaked up a whole lot of information and knowledge that’s going to assist me within the place I’m in proper now.”
Watson is now certainly one of 17 undrafted free agent rookies signed by the Broncos after the NFL draft. He captained Colorado State’s protection at center linebacker final season, led the group in stops his ultimate two years and appeared in 51 profession video games — fourth-most in program historical past.
Watson gained traction with the Broncos after a strong efficiency on the group’s native professional day in April. He stored in communication with the employees main as much as the draft, and when a number of free agent affords appeared after going unselected, Watson determined to stay in Colorado.
“I’m going on the market to compete for a beginning spot,” Watson mentioned. “To indicate the coaches I’m dependable and I’m a playmaker. That ought to put me in the very best place to make the 53-man roster.”
The Broncos did little to deal with their inside linebacker wants by means of the draft. They did choose Justin Hollins within the third spherical, who performed primarily outdoors at Oregon. Watson specialised at inside linebacker at CSU, and whereas the Rams’ protection as an entire struggled, he compiled 17 profession double-digit deal with video games in three seasons. And three of these performances got here in opposition to Energy 5 colleges.
“Taking part in in that many video games and being underneath a number of coaches and defensive coordinators — seeing how their philosophies modified or have been the identical, the terminology, the foundations and sport plan — has allowed to me to see issues with a distinct perspective,” Watson mentioned. “Having the ability to play the massive colleges has proven that I can compete with these guys.”
Watson has no scarcity of household assist in his NFL pursuit. He’s cousins with Oklahoma Heisman Trophy winner Billy Sims. One other cousin, Leonard Thompson, performed a dozen seasons for the Lions. Even Watson’s barber-father performed faculty soccer at Arkansas-Pine Bluff.
When Denver introduced it signed Watson to a free-agent contract, although, few had been extra proud than Morgan. Now retired from soccer after stints with the Chiefs, Colts, Jets and CFL, Morgan known as Watson to congratulate him.
“He was a bit boy once I was getting a minimize,” Morgan mentioned. “Eleven years later, and what he’s grown to be, to observe that transition is wonderful.”