Amsterdam Crusaders Sign DB Leo Watkins From Winona State



Graphic: Igor Lazarevic

Holland’s Amsterdam Crusaders have their eyes on another Dutch title in 2017 and intend to battle for the Big6 crown with the signing of defensive back/running back Leo Watkins.

Watkins, 5’10”, 190 lb, 24, a defensive back/running back from Chicago, played his college football at Winona State (NCAA Div. II). He will leave the United States for the first time in his life to travel to the Netherlands and Amsterdam in March to join the Crusaders.

Crusaders representative Pam Werdler spoke to Watkins about his football background and asked him about coming to Holland and the Crusaders. 

South Chicago native Watkins played football as a boy daily from sun-up to sun-down in the park behind his home. His versatile talent was soon apparent. Before he knew it, he came out as a defensive back for the Leo Catholic high school in Chicago eventually moving to California and West Hills College Coalinga community college.

It was at West Hills where Watkins came into contact with the Amsterdam Crusaders. Namely he became close friends with his Dutch teammate and former Crusader Dylan Bakker. Thanks to Bakker, currently a senior linebacker for the North Dakota Fighting Hawks, Watkins discovered more and more about the history, quality and vision of the Amsterdam Crusaders.

During his studies at Winona State University, Watkins then was part of the Winona State Warriors team. Although he did not make it to the NFL he played arena football for the Chicago Blitz and the Chicago Eagles.

On the transition from indoor to outdoor football arena football with the Cru, Watkins is clear:

“The Cru’s participation in the European Big6 has put me to thinking. My heart finally located over land 11-to-11 outdoor football. That I now feel connected to the Cru as a logical step. “

About his role as a defensive back/running back with the Crusaders Watkins had this to say:

“I see it as my task to roll out and win games with the team’s successful plays. In addition, I will work with my coaches to learn as much as possible to share with the younger players on the team. The Cru is a very solid team that knows how it should behave on and off the field. They are athletes who just keep as much football as I do. The Cru is ready for the Big6. “

Watkins is looking forward to tasting Dutch cuisine.

“I love all kinds of food so I’ll try anything.”

On becoming familiar with the Crusaders Watkins said:

“I’ve learned a lot from my continuing friendship with Dylan Bakker, so that should be no problem. What seems useful in any case, is I can ride.”



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