NFL player reflects on journey from UMass to the NFL

NFL player reflects on journey from UMass to the NFL
Published: May. 14, 2022 at 11:10 PM EDT
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AMHERST, Mass. (WGGB/WSHM) -One UMass football alumni realized his childhood dream when he got the call that he would join the NFL ranks.

“Growing up, my whole dream was to be in the NFL, and it felt surreal when the moment happened,” said Bryce Watts, Pittsburgh Steelers Quarterback.

On April 30, UMass cornerback Bryce Watts received the call of a lifetime from the Pittsburgh Steelers. Following the NFL Draft, he was signed by the six-time Super Bowl champions as an undrafted free agent.

“Pure excitement. First thing, I started crying. My family was there,” said Watts.

The Toms River, New Jersey Native became only the seventh active player from UMass in the NFL and he told Western Mass News that he transferred from the University of North Carolina to UMass to be closer to family.

“My mother got diagnosed with stage three breast cancer and I really wanted to be close to home,” said Watts.

On Friday, Watts reported to Steelers’ rookie minicamp, his first taste of NFL action.

“I’m just like a sponge right now, just trying to soak up all the information that the coaches are giving me. I just try to learn and elevate my game to another level,” said Watts.

He’s bringing a swagger to the Steel City, with aspirations of eventually securing a spot on the team’s 53 man roster.

“I think the biggest thing for me is my confidence. I’m a very confident player and I think you need that at db, and especially in the NFL to be successful you need that chip on your shoulder,” said Watts.

As for his alma mater, after a 1-11 season, Watts is excited for what the future could hold for the Minutemen.

“I walked in there the other day and Coach Brown, it was a different vibe, it was a different type of whole thing, and they’re gonna have a really good year this year,” said Watts.