Blue Chip Commitment
Fall Signing Week '11: Watson Heads to the Swamp
by Gary Curreri
, 12 November 2011
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Gordon Watson enjoys sun, surf and skeet shooting and he will parlay it into a college tennis career at the University of Florida.
The 18-year-old Naples native, who is a senior at First Baptist Academy
, said his family has been outdoor enthusiasts his entire life. He started playing tennis under the tutelage of his father, Gordie, at age 3, and will continue playing in college.
"My father encouraged me and became my coach for my entire junior career," said Watson, who is a top-ranked player on the United States Tennis Association's junior circuit. "I love everything about it."
Watson, who teamed with Zack McCourt to win the National Clay Court Doubles championship and took a bronze in the singles competition in July in the Boys 18s in Delray Beach, said he decided on UF after a visit and gave them his verbal commitment in early October. He had other visits, however he decided on staying in the state.
"I loved the coach (Andy Jackson), campus and players, and it felt like home," said Watson, who is ranked 12th nationally, fifth in the southeast and third in Florida. "I really loved the other schools on my list, but I realized that I wanted to continue my training in Florida after my visits."
Watson, who lists his hobbies as surfing, hunting, fishing, boating, waterskiing, and playing with his golden retriever, clearly enjoys the outdoors. He builds, shapes and designs his own surf boards."
"I live in Naples, so typically there isn't much opportunity to surf here, unless there is a tropical depression or hurricane," Watson said. "I drive to the East Coast, and it is a sport I enjoy with my father. I also have surfed the big waves of Costa Rica!"
"I also fish, duck hunt and bow hunt," Watson added. "I also make my own fishing jigs."
Watson is apparently a great shot. The teen said it has helped with his hand-eye coordination, and he got into skeet shooting to improve his duck hunting accuracy. Not only does he shoot down clay pigeons, he also takes out opponents on the tennis court.