Desmond Watson has been a quite massive force inside for the Florida Gators defense. Here are three things to know.

Ainslie Lee
Gator Sports
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Florida Gators sophomore defensive lineman Desmond Watson is hard to miss. 

Listed at 6-foot-5 and a jaw-dropping 415 pounds, Watson's size has been a story in itself. But what really impresses people is Watson's ability to move around the way he does at his size. 

After being on the bench his entire freshman campaign in 2021, Watson has started getting reps as a sophomore, first appearing in Florida's season opener against Utah, when he recorded a pair of tackles. 

And despite a quiet performance against Kentucky in Week 2, Watson returned to action on Saturday night against the USF Bulls, recording three tackles through three and a half quarters. 

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Here's what you might be wondering about the big fella. 

Where did Desmond Watson come from?

A native of Florida, Watson comes from the land of the strawberries, Plant City, Fla. 

Prior to arriving in Gainesville, Watson played for Armwood, where he helped the Hawks go 12-2 and make a deep run in the Class 7A playoffs in 2019. 

In that same year, Watson posted 65 tackles, 34 tackles behind the line of scrimmage and 10 sacks. 

The Florida Gators defensive lineman Desmond Watson (21) runs off the field after making a tackle during the opening game of the 2022 season against the Utah Utes at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium in Gainesville FL, Sept. 3, 2022.

Who recruited Desmond Watson?

After his career at Armwood, Watson fielded offers from a handful of big programs. 

Alabama, Florida State, Kentucky, Michigan and Tennessee were all among those that showed interest in the big-bodied defensive lineman. 

On July 30, 2020, Watson committed to the Gators and there was no monkey business come signing day, when he signed his letter of intent to play at Florida. 

Has Desmond Watson always been that big?

Nope. 

Believe it or not, when Watson first arrived at Florida, he was bigger. 

At the time of his enrollment, Watson weighed 440 pounds. He went on to drop around 40 pounds during his rookie campaign, but put on 15 more between his freshman and sophomore seasons. 

The goal of the Gators is to get Watson down to 375 pounds. 

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