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Xavier Watts
Brendan McAlinden

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This Guy Plays Notre Dame Football: #82 Xavier Watts, Wide Receiver

It’s Pretzel Day.

The Notre Dame Fighting Irish have a roster full of players, and we want to talk about them all. One Foot Down’s player profile series will, once again, take a look at every single one of them, and hopefully, we all learn a little bit more about these guys, and Notre Dame’s chances for the upcoming 2021 season.

#75 Xavier Watts, WR

This Omaha, Nebraska native saw action in just two games this past season. He’s had a bit of a wait in line at the receiver spot and the pandemic to thank for that. An early Notre Dame enrollee in the spring of 2020, this receiver came to South Bend as a three-star recruit from Harry A. Burke High School, where he made the 247sports.com rankings as the No. 75 wide receiver in the nation and the No.2 player from Nebraska.

In 2020, Watts had field time during Notre Dame’s wins against South Florida and Florida State.

xavier watts notre dame football Notre Dame Athletics

A quad contusion shook things up for Watts in spring practice. Ahead of the Blue-Gold Game, head coach Brian Kelly said about Watts, “With X, we really like his work when he’s out there, but he’s been kind of plagued by some nagging injuries… So we’re hopeful that he gets out there and he’s able to have a great spring game. We like his body of work. I know he’s frustrated, too. It just hasn’t been consistent enough.”

The Restaurant That Fits

We’re going with Auntie Anne’s. In my experience, whenever I’ve craved a nice mall pretzel, there’s always been a decently sized line. I can see Watts being salty about injury-related delays and how NCAA eligibility changes have changed how he will now have to distinguish himself as a receiver. I’ll see myself out.

2021 Outlook

Even if he stays healthy, Watts could continue to play the waiting game. The seniors in the receiver spot have three more years of eligible play as a result of the NCAA’s pandemic response. Of this group, Irish fans are best off looking to Joe Wilkins, who became a standout in practice, to emerge as a constant in the role, as Watts, Braden Lenzy, Kevin Austin, and Lawrence Keys work to offset shaky seasons.

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