ALL IN THE FAMILY - Sumrall cousins putting up video game-type numbers
October 5, 2012Sumrall High School
Sumrall's Devontae Watts is the sixth-leading receiver in the state through the first seven games of the season.
Pretty impressive, no?
The thing is, though, Watts isn't even the leading receiver on his own team. Heck, the senior wideout, who also plays basketball and baseball, isn't even the leading receiver in his own family.
That distinction belongs to another Bobcat receiver, Austin Watts – Devontae's cousin.
Wait, there's more.
Not only is Austin leading the team in receiving this season, he’s leading all of Mississippi, according to maxpreps.com’s statistical rankings.
"We had a losing record my first three years," Austin said. "We’re just trying to change that. It kind of had me down on if I was any good."
Wonder no more.
The Watts cousins have formed one of the most prolific wide receiver tandems in the state, but Sumrall head coach Shannon White isn’t sure they’re even aware of it.
"(Before this season) I kept talking to them about how good they should be, and they’d have this look in their eye like, ‘Coach, are you sure you have the right guy?,’" White said. "Neither one realizes exactly how good they are."
Austin has caught 44 passes for 844 yards and five touchdowns. He’s averaging just over 120 yards receiving per game. Additionally, he’s rushed for 128 yards and four more scores.
On the flip side, Devontae has 39 receptions for 617 yards and eight touchdowns.
But Devontae seems to have some idea as to the skills he and his cousin possess.
"There’s not many people in (Class) 3A that can do what we do," he said.
And his take on what makes the duo so fearsome is pretty simple.
Both receivers also spend time at defensive back for the Bobcats. So oftentimes in practice, the cousins line up opposite of one another.
"At practice, we try to go at each other," Devontae said. "Because we know the guys we play won’t be as good as we are. (Austin) does some stuff that I haven’t seen anyone else do, so that helps me."
White, a successful veteran coach who is in his second season at Sumrall, said his senior receivers have helped make game-planning pretty easy each week.
"We keep them on opposite sides of the field," he said. "Devontae is an inside receiver and Austin is an outside receiver. We’ve gotten great results doing it that way. It’s hard for a defense to overload or double-cover."
"Austin and Devontae are just playmakers. It’s an old coaching cliché, but it’s true."
Sumrall, which won just three games last season, is already 4-3, and with the way the Bobcats are playing, the hope is that big things are in store.
Not only do Austin and Devontae – who have received attention from several Division I programs, but have yet to receive any official scholarship offers – get along on the field, but away from football as well.
Austin, who moved to Sumrall from Lumberton before his eighth-grade year, said they’re as much friends as they are family.
"We hang out, go to the movies, pretty much anything," he said. "I didn’t really know (Devontae) until I moved to Sumrall. Since then, we do pretty much everything together."
But if you ask them separately which one is the better receiver, a friendly disagreement might rear its head.
"If you let me tell it, I think I’m faster than Austin in the open field," Devontae said.
As for Austin’s take: "I feel like I’m better (than Devontae). But I know he makes me a better player, just like every other guy on the team."