Many within the Titan Football family are grieving the loss of Darrius Watson who passed away this week. Watson was a defensive back for the Cal State Fullerton Titan Football program from 1989 to 1992. Upon the program’s suspension, Watson transferred to Louisville to play the 1993 season and complete his college football career. Watson was running on the beach on Sunday evening, January 31, 2010 when he suffered an apparent heart attack. He was rushed to a local hospital, where he passed away on Monday morning. Darrius Watson was 38 years old.
Although Watson was one of the final team members to play on the 1992 squad, he was part of a new era in Titan Football. Watson was part of the 1989 freshman recruiting class that marked a turning point for Titan Football. The 1989 recruiting class was comprised of mostly high school recruits, a deviation from the previous philosophy of recruiting Junior College players. Watson was part of that recruiting class that included John Cotti and Walter Bonnett, who both went on to star at San Jose State after the Titan Football program was suspended. Also among that group included walk-on running back Danny Pasquil who transferred to the University of La Verne in 1993 and went on to be named conference offensive player of the year. Most recognizable in that 1989 recruiting class was kicker/punter Phil Nevin who went on to pursue his baseball career to much success with the San Diego Padres. Watson went on to play at the University of Louisville where he played corner back and helped the Cardinals to an 8-3 record that year and an 18-7 victory over Michigan State in the 1993 Liberty Bowl. Upon completing his eligibility at Louisville, Watson was invited to tryout for the San Francisco 49ers of the National Football League.
Upon hearing the news of Watson’s untimely passing, many former Titans grieved and reached out to others for support via the internet. Over the past few days many former Titans, football players, coaches, trainers and even other athletes from other Fullerton sports expressed their grief via Facebook. A few Facebook messages in regards to Watson’s passing include;
Paul Schulte: Will never forget his Million Dollar smile, and how he loved life and people. I pray God will be with his Family and comfort them in their sadness.
Terry Payne: I can’t believe that, my heart hurts for his family. There’s times I feel like I’m still 20
Kimo Igarta: Former Titan Darrius Watson is in our prayers and will always remain in heaven as a Titan!
Anthony Pack: As a former CSUF football player, I am sure you are as stunned as the rest of us after learning of the sudden death of Darrius. I was thinking, in an effort to show Solidarity and our LOVE for our TITAN brother, we should all wear dark suits, white shirts and ORANGE ties to his funeral services. I’ve already spoken to family representatives who informed me that it would be a great idea. Do you think you can disseminate this information to as many “Titans” as you can who will be attending the services.
Coach Rick Redden: I truly appreciated being around Darius everyday that I had the chance to spend with him. He was a pleasure to coach and spend time with on and off the field. I really enjoyed our meeting times, our road trips to away games – all the times we spent together at Cal State Fullerton. His smile was infectious and he always enjoyed everything he did on the field as he practiced and played with such great energy!!
Walter Bonnett: Today was a crushing day. . . Found out one of my college football teammates, passed away . . . . Darrius Watson (38 yr’s) aka “Spiderman” he was on of the best corners that I had the privilege of playing with. . . Dude was Strong, Long & Athletic . . . .God Speed and God Bless. . . R.I.P Spiderman
Mikki Baker, Titan Athletic Trainer: I will always remember his beautiful smile! Darrius was such a nice guy. Always so funny and always smiling. It was great to see him at the reunion. Very sad news! My thoughts & prayers are with his family!
Becky Howlett Jackson, Titan Volleyball Player: RIP…. strong, long, athletic… perfect description.
Brian Johnson: R.I.P. D, U were one of the best! U will be missed.
Dave Lamm: is sadden by the news of Darius Watson’s death. Darrius was one of my first teammates at Cal State Fullerton and he will be missed. So glad I was able to see him last March at the Titan Football reunion.
Dennis Ellis: is thinking of his fallen Titan Posse Brother. RIP “Young Buck….”
Mike Ammann, Titan Soccer Player: Sad news, he definitely was a character. RIP Darrius
Shaun Dennis: Words can’t express the sadness I feel in my heart at our loss, but we must remember that God doesn’t make mistakes! And right now Darrius is definitely in a better place. I miss you already “Young Buck” and I’ll see you again when God brings all of us together. As he would say TITAN’S FO LIFE!
Deon Thomas: Titans, brother and sister, please send out your prayers for Darrius Watson (R.I.P) family, he was taken away from us recently.
Victor Prince: This Kat could of played at ANY University. That much talent!
Richard Harrison: My man Darrius!!! You will be missed brotha!
Andrew Hill: How could this be? He was one of the best athletes I have been around. I remember reading about him trying out with the 49ers just after he graduated from Louisville. A heart attack seems impossible. I am not doubting the news, but just in shock. So sorry to hear this. My prayers are with his family. A very sad day, indeed.
Prior to his death, Watson was a physical education teacher at a junior high school in South Los Angeles. In his spare time he enjoyed boxing and boxed professionally in the cruiserweight division. Watson finished with a professional record of seven victories (with three knockouts) to go with one defeat. One of Watson’s career highlights was a 12 second knockout victory over Robert Green in January of 2002. The one defeat was in his last fight in May of 2006, a disputed split decision loss to Richard Paige. Watson stopped boxing after being diagnosed with a heart condition.
Services for Darrius Watson are as follows:
Monday, February 8, 2010
Time: 3:00pm – 8:00pm
Location: Inglewood Mortuary
3801 West Manchester Blvd.
Inglewood, California 90305
Phone: (310) 412-6811
Tuesday, February 9, 2010
Location: Amos Memorial Christian Church
2445 West Washington Blvd.
Los Angeles , California 90019
Phone: (323) 732-8194
Cards can be sent to the home of Darrius’ parents:
The Watson Family
922 Diamond Dale Drive
Carson, California 90746
(Darrius’ favorite flowers were orchids.)
– Those from CSUF are planning to wear dark suits, white shirts and orange ties to show solidarity.
Details of Watson’s boxing career were obtained via the Francisco Salazar article that appeared in Fightnews.com