Wolfpack redshirt junior tight end Asa Watson has experienced more than his fair share of adversity in the past year. After showing flashes of his capabilities on the field as a reserve tight end and on special teams, Watson was sidelined in 2011 with a heart ailment. After a corrective procedure was done, yet another heart ailment was discovered. The second condition has now also been dealt with, though Watson does still experience some racing of the heart and must continue to take medication.
But Watson is not one to dwell on the negative, or on the past. His strong faith and determined work ethic has him looking to bigger things, both on and off the field, as JP Giglio (N&O) discovered.
Heart issues don’t slow Pack’s determined tight end – newsobserver.com
Watson is built like a football player at 6-foot-4 and 225 pounds, and the sport is in his genes. His father, now a pastor of a Christian ministry based in Norfolk, Va., Watson’s father played football at Maryland in the mid-1970s. His older brother, eight-year NFL veteran Benjamin Watson, plays tight end with the Cleveland Browns. However, Asa Watson is wired with the patience of a kindergarten teacher.
Earlier this month, Watson went on a church mission to Jamaica with the ministry his father helped start almost 20 years ago. For part of the mission, Watson was expected to preach to a community in Buff Bay.
He prepared a sermon on identity, at a time when Watson’s still looking for his own. He doesn’t want to be known for his heart issues, and he doesn’t want to be known as the little brother of Benjamin Watson.
“I was always trying to make a name for myself,” Watson said. “I’ve learned that I’ve got to do the best that I can do and not compare myself to anyone.
“I have an opportunity to do the best I can here at N.C. State, and that’s what I’m going to do.”
Watson, out of Rock Hill, SC, was one of the more highly recruited tight ends in the NC/SC area coming out of high school. His long gain in the ’12 spring game (barely a month after his most recent heart procedure) set up the first team offense’s only score. He could become a much needed passing outlet for Mike Glennon this fall. He’s big (6-4, 225) and has pretty good speed for his size.