NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) – Blake Watson, a redshirt junior who led Old Dominion with 1,230 all-purpose yards and seven touchdowns this season, confirmed Tuesday he was entering the transfer portal.
It follows ODU’s 3-9 season, and 2-6 in its first season in the Sun Belt Conference.
Reports surfaced of Watson’s move late Monday evening.
Watson has been with the Monarchs for the past five years, and has a year of eligibility remaining.
He led ODU in rushing, with 916 yards on 158 carries, averaging 5.8 yards-per-carry and scoring five touchdowns on the ground. Watson’s rushing total was sixth in the conference, and he finished third in all-purpose yards.
Watson became more of a threat catching passes out of the backfield this season, with 314 yards receiving on 37 catches, second on the team, scoring another two touchdowns.
The 5-foot-9, 195 pound Watson opened the season with a 60 yard rushing day and a touchdown in the Monarchs’ 20-17 upset of Virginia Tech, gained another 70 yards in the 16-14 loss to Virginia and had a combined 140 yards (80 rushing, 60 receiving) in ODU’s 38-24 loss to Liberty.
But he had a monster day at conference power Coastal Carolina, rushing for 259 yards and three touchdowns in the Monarchs’ 49-21 win. He followed that with a 108 yard rushing day in the 28-23 loss to Georgia Southern.
Watson finished the season with a combined 198 yards in the 27-20 loss to South Alabama, catching a pass for a touchdown.
Last season, Watson was a Conference USA honorable mention at running back, with 215 carries for 1,112 yards – fifth in the conference – and eight touchdowns.
ODU did not play in 2020 but in 2019, Watson was a Conference USA honorable mention as a kick returner and was named to the conference’s All-Freshman team as a kick returner, averaging 26.4 yards per return.
Watson redshirted in 2018 and was a two-star recruit by 247 sports out of high school.
He finishes his time at Old Dominion with 3,225 total yards – 2,144 yards rushing, 448 yards receiving and 633 return yards – all in 2019. He scored 17 touchdowns, 14 of them on the ground.