Julius Caesar Watts III, who goes by Trey, is a senior tailback at the University of Tulsa, where he starred on the 2012 Conference USA championship team. Watts is the son of J.C. Watts, OU's star wishbone quarterback in 1979 and 1980 and a former U.S. congressman.
Trey Watts grew up an OU fan and played on Owen Field with TU in September. He returns on Sept. 14, this time as an integral part of a quality team.
The blessings of a famous dad, you get a lot of opportunities to meet a lot of famous people. You get to go to a lot of different places when he has a speaking engagement here or there. When I was younger, he would take us on a lot of trips like that, cause he traveled a lot. That was probably the biggest negative, that he did travel so much. In Congress, commuting back and forth. He had to commute every week up to Washington. That was probably the biggest part, not having him around as much.
But the plus, getting to go to a lot of different things. Been to Super Bowls, national championships growing up. That was one of the biggest reasons I wanted to play college football and play in the NFL. I had been watching since I was little. Been to so many games when I was little. I just wanted to be a part of that.
Growing up, if they weren't playing OU, I probably didn't see (TU). Nothing, really, probably until about Paul Smith (2005-07), then I kind of saw a little bit. Before Paul Smith, probably nothing.
Coming out of high school, I didn't have a lot of options. My dad had a relationship with Coach (Bill) Blankenship. So I got to come out, just check out a game on an official visit, see the campus a little bit, really just thought, this was a place I could come and play. Everything ended up working out for me.
I went to Whittier Middle School in Norman. I didn't leave Oklahoma until after seventh grade. I was a Dallas Cowboys fan; obviously Oklahoma didn't have a basketball team. As soon as they got one, I just fell in love with it. Started watching NBA 20 times more once the Thunder came around. Got to go, check out a few Thunder games, playoff games, saw a Kevin Durant buzzer-beater. You watch those guys, just how much passion they have, it's easy to fall in love with and it's easy to be a fan.
I've been Trey since I was a little. When I moved to Virginia, I started football before school. So my football team knew me as Trey, because that's what I went by. In eighth grade, first day of school, teacher's calling out roll. They say Julius, I was shy at the time. Didn't really know anybody, it was like first day of school. I was like, just forget about it. I'll go by Julius. I don't want to tell anybody my name's Trey. Didn't want to go through that. So I tried to go by Julius. It lasted for about week and a half. I had all the football guys on my team still calling me Trey in the hallways. So people started getting confused. Trey just kind of took back over.
I've been to Owen Field before (as a player). So all that, coming back and playing where your dad played and all that stuff is kind of behind me now. Really just going down there looking for a tough road win.
I played there my redshirt sophomore year. It was the first time I had been on that field, not as a spectator and a fan. It was just a surreal experience, seeing your family in the stands wearing blue and not red, rooting for you, and trying to get a win. I think it'll be different this year, having been there, having the experience. I can't go there and be stargazed, have stars in my eyes. You have to go in and show confidence to the young guys that have not been in that situation before.
There's a lot of excitement around this team. Just the fact that a lot of guys have the same goal in mind, that we're not complacent with just getting a conference championship and a Liberty Bowl win. We want to try to take things to the next level. Not only get back-to-back conference championships, but try to make that push to another higher level and a bowl game. See how high we can go.
We're out in the community more. Trying to get our faces and names just out there, with the TU community, try to fill up the stadium as much as possible. This is as good a year as ever, coming off such a great season as last year. It gives people a lot of excitement, with guys coming back that people will know. Just gives people a lot of hope for this upcoming season.
Every year, it really comes down to senior leadership, how well your seniors respond to everything. And keep your young guys in it; you always need your young guys to play well, especially on the road and in conference games. I think we have plenty of seniors, even your juniors, who have been around the block, played in road games, played in a conference championship game, played and won multiple bowl games. We still have plenty of experience, a great coaching staff that will help everybody stay together and be focused on the goal at hand.
There's a lot of expectation. There's no more hoping to win or we might win this weekend or we've got a good shot. You expect to win every single game we play, home or away. When you expect to win, you have to prepare to win, and I think we do a really good job preparing to win, week in and week out. It starts with the coaches and trickles on down to the players. It's really what we expect from ourselves. We don't want to fail on anything we do.