Kickers are typically the most under appreciated position in all of Football. They are often looked at as “necessary evils” as former Run and Shoot Inventor Mouse Davis said in referring to his “hatred of field goals and punts.” But for 4 years in Commerce, TX Billy Watkins gave the Lions of ET a valuable asset. As a placekicker and punter, Watkins set records on the national, conference, and school level, and left ET as the leading scorer in school history. Let’s take a look at the Watkins file:
Name: Billy Watkins
Hometown: Sulphur Springs, TX
High School: Sulphur Springs High School
Time at ET-1990-1993, graduated in 1994.
Favorite Lion Team: “1990 was my favorite team while at ET. Because I was a freshman and they accepted me and I was an integral part of a very successful team. That team was good because the older guys wouldn’t let us be anything but great.”
Major/Degree: Bachelor’s of Business Administration in Finance, went back to get my teaching certification in 1997.
What I am doing now: Teaching Government at Rockwall High School. “I also am the head boys and girls golf coach, along with coaching the kickers for the football team.”
Favorite Football Memory: “Beating Pitt State in 1991 to end their 56 game winning streak. I made 2 long field goals and we won 20-13. Curtis Buckley also knocked out their starting quarterback and made them think twice about running the option his way!!! Also, setting the Division II scoring record.”
Favorite ET School Memory: “Walking The Halls in the Hall of Fame and always wanting to make it on there one day, and then being inducted years later, such an honor.”
Professional Experience: “Had some tryouts with the Dallas Cowboys and The Oakland Raiders, but they both had solid kickers. I did play in the Professional Indoor Football League for the Texas Bullets during the 1998 season. The only two wins in their franchise history before folding were games won by overtime field goals.”
Awards/Honors: All time Leading Scorer in TAMUC Football History. All-American Second Team 1991, First Team 1992, 1993. LSC First Team 1990, 1991, 1992. National Kicker of the Week in 1992, NCAA record holder for points in a season, NCAA Division II Statistical scoring champion 1991.
Overview: Billy Watkins is the sum of what makes a football player great. He is a guy who was great at his job. Kickoffs, consistent PAT’s, clutch field goals, Watkins could do it all, and he did it all at an exceptional rate. He is also a Lion to the core. Watkins grew up 30 minutes from Commerce and made the decision to take the move on Highway 11 where East Texas turns into North Texas to play college football in Commerce, America. In a 1992 article in the Dallas Morning News, Watkins said “I love being here. It is close to home, and there are great people here.” He is truly a Lion for Life.