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Stockstill names Watts wide receivers coach

January 17, 2006 · MT Media Relations
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - Middle Tennessee Head Coach Rick Stockstill announced today the hiring of Justin Watts as the Blue Raiders' wide receivers coach. A former player under Stockstill at Clemson, Watts makes his way to Murfreesboro after spending the past three years at Chattanooga.

"Justin is a very young, enthusiastic, hard working coach who we are very excited to have in our program," said Stockstill. "I had the privilege of coaching Justin as a player and he always gave maximum effort and did everything we asked of him on and off the field. Justin is also a very aggressive recruiter who has an unbelievable future in the coaching profession."

In 2005, Watts helped lead Chattanooga to its first winning season since 1997 by coaching the Southern Conference's leading receiver. Watts tutored Emanuel Hassell to first team All-Southern Conference honors after he paced the league with 52 receptions.

In his first two seasons at UTC, Watts coached All-America and All-Southern Conference receiver Alonzo Nix. Nix set the school and Southern Conference single-season receptions record in 2003 with 90 catches and the single-game record of 18 receptions. He signed a free agent contract with the NFL's Tennessee Titans in 2005.

Prior to joining the staff at Chattanooga, Watts served two years as a graduate assistant at Clemson. During that time he was a part of Clemson's 2001 Humanitarian Bowl team and the 2002 Tangerine Bowl squad.

"I am very thankful to Coach Stockstill for giving me the opportunity to further my coaching career at Middle Tennessee," said Watts. "The main reason I got into college coaching was Rick Stockstill, and I can't wait to work with the staff he has assembled and be a part of taking the Blue Raider program to the next level."

Watts, a former receiver at Clemson, has the rare distinction (one of only two players) of winning five football letters at the South Carolina school. He began his career in 1996, and saw action in three games as a sophomore before suffering a season-ending injury against Florida State. He was able to use a medical redshirt for that season.

He finished his career with 51 catches for 561 yards. He was a member of the 1999 Peach Bowl team which played Mississippi State and the 2000 Gator Bowl squad which faced Virginia Tech. He was also a member of the team when Clemson competed in the 1996 and 1997 Peach Bowls.

The Florence, S.C., native was honored as one of Clemson's scholar-athletes at the 1999 Peach Bowl Awards Luncheon and was selected as a BB&T Student-Athlete of the Week by the Clemson Sports Network.

An outstanding quarterback at South Florence High School, he was ranked as the 17th best quarterback in the nation by SuperPrep and the sixth-ranked player in the state. Watts, 28, completed 132-of-238 pass attempts for 1,746 yards his senior season. That year, he played in the North Carolina-South Carolina Shrine Bowl and was nominated for the state's Mr. Football Award. He finished his career with 7,979 total yards and 74 touchdowns.

Watts was born Oct. 1, 1977 in Florence, S.C. He earned a degree in Sports Management from Clemson in 2000.

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