Corey Watson named to FCS ADA Academic All-Star team

Corey Watson named to FCS ADA Academic All-Star team

View the complete FCS ADA Academic All-Star Team (PDF)

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. -- It's been quite a stretch for Tennessee Tech defensive back Corey Watson.  In November, the Sevierville, Tenn., native earned CoSIDA Academic All-District honors. Two weeks later, he celebrated his team's Ohio Valley Conference football championship, and he followed that by earning his bachelor's degree at the school's December graduation.

This week, Watson was one of just three student-athletes from the Ohio Valley Conference to be included among the 58 nationally named to the 14th annual Football Championship Subdivision Athletics Directors Association Academic All-Star Team. 

“The FCS ADA is honored to recognize the accomplishments of our football student-athletes each year with the Academic All-Star team,” said FCS ADA President Marilyn McNeil, chair of the FCS ADA Academic All-Star Team Selection Committee and vice-president/director of athletics at Monmouth University. “These young men compete successfully both on the field and in the classroom and truly epitomize the definition of a student-athlete.”

Watson built a 3.65 GPA in exercise science and physical wellness (EXPW). A two-way player during is high school career, Watson has moved across the line of scrimmage during his Tech career, settling into a starting role in the defensive secondary in his final campaign. He ranked second in the OVC and 26th in the nation in interceptions with three, which he returned for 75 yards including two for touchdowns. He was third in the OVC in passes defended, breaking up three passes in the regular season finale to help the Golden Eagles top Austin Peay and clinch the OVC title.

In addition to his prowess in Tech's pass defense, Watson ranked fifth on the team in total tackles with 62 and tied for first on the team in fumbles recovered. He made a career-high eight stops at Jacksonville State, then raised that with a career-high 11 tackles against Murray State.

Not only did he exhibit a tremendous work ethic, he showed an effective combination of speed and strength, and helped to provide an experienced foundation to the secondary. A real student of the game, he showed a strong knowledge of his position as well as his talents in the classroom, which have placed him on the Athletic Director’s Honor Roll each of the past six semesters.

Watson was a standout two-way player at Sevier County High School, seeing time at quarterback and defensive back, and also lined up at wide receiver and kick returner on his way to earning Region 1-5A Offensive Player of the Year in his final two seasons. He was a two-time first-team all-region pick as a defensive back, and selected to play in the Tennessee-Kentucky All-Star game.

Corey is the son of Don and Ronda Watson of Sevierville.

Others from the OVC joining Watson on the team were linebacker Corey Leman of Eastern Illinois and defensive tackle Emory Attig of Eastern Kentucky University.

Football players from all Football Championship Subdivision institutions are eligible for these prestigious awards. Each of the nominees were required to have a minimum grade point average of 3.20 (on a 4.00 scale) in undergraduate study and have been a starter or key player with legitimate athletics credentials. He must have reached his second year of athletics and academic standing at the nominated institution and have completed a minimum of one full academic year at
the nominated institution. He must also have participated in 50 percent of the games played at his designated position.

About the FCS ADA: Now in its 19th year, the Football Championship Subdivision Athletics Directors Association’s mission is to enhance Football Championship Subdivision football. For more information on the FCS ADA, please visit The FCS ADA is administered by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA), which is in its 46th year. For more information on NACDA and the 12 professional associations that fall under its umbrella, please visit