At 6’2″ 205lbs., Julian Watts has excelled at every defensive position. From his college days at Hofstra as a close-defender and LSM, to his career as a pro playing d-middie for the Long Island Lizards, Watts has brought unmatchable athleticism to every team he’s played for. A high school football standout, he even played wide receiver for the Hoftra football team in addition to lacrosse. Drafted 36th overall by the LA Riptide in the 2007 MLL draft, Watts was acquired by the Lizards midway through the 2008 season. Since then he has had the unique opportunity to defend some of the greatest players in the game while playing in front of his hometown.
We sat down with Julian Watts to ask some questions and get some good leads for Fantasy Football. Below is our conversation word-for-word.
LAS: You’ve played for the Lizards for 3 years now, and I understand you’re from LI. What’s it like playing in the pros in front of your hometown? Do you ever feel extra pressure?
Julian Watts: Well, first it’s a privilege to play lacrosse in the MLL and suit up with the best players in the game. Playing at home is great cause your representing where you grew up, in front of people who have watched you throughout your career. So yes, there is a little added pressure.
Looking at your lacrosse career to date, what’s been your proudest moment so far?
Julian Watts: Getting drafted by the L.A. Riptide was a proud moment individually, but as part of a team it had to be in 2006 when the Hofstra Pride were 17-2 and made it to the quarterfinals. Even though we lost to Umass in a heartbreaker! It was a great run and we were CAA Champs! The guys from that team are all close friends and we still keep in contact today.
Who’s the toughest player to defend in the MLL?
Julian Watts: I’ve thought about this question a lot, it’s not fair to say just one guy cause there are so many different kind of players. I’m pretty athletic, but the guys that have given me trouble in the past are Paul Rabil, Brendan Mundorf and Joe Walters. Great players like that are tough to stop, but you have to contain them or they’re going to light up the scoreboard.
What’s your weapon of choice these days?
Julian Watts: I currently use a Evo Pro 2.0 on a lime green HeadStrong Swizzle in memory of my boy Nick Colleluori. I call it my “Bread and Butter” cause she puts food on the table….strung by a buddy of mine, Tom Maloney, he uses regular dura-mesh, two sidewalls as shooters and two V’s, little bit of whip, loose at the top in case she bags out….vaccuum with gb’s!
Alright, let me get this straight… You played lacrosse and football at Hoftra, right? Did you attend Hofstra for that opportunity? Did you ever have time for class?
Julian Watts: Yes, I was a two-sport athlete at Hofstra. Originally I had no plans of playing lax in college, I had already signed a letter of intent to play football at another school. It wasn’t until after my last game senior year that I got recruited to play lacrosse. Hofstra was the best situation for me and Coach Danowski allowed me to walk on to the football team my sophomore year. I had to attend class because I was always missing it due to travel in the fall and spring. Not gonna lie tho, I definitely hit the snooze for a couple.
Ever thought of trying to play professional football?
Julian Watts: Playing in the NFL was always a dream of mine. I participated in the NFL combines at Hofstra but besides a couple workouts for scouts and position coaches, they showed me no love (laughs). But I did tryout for the NY Dragons in Arena Football and I actually got invited back, but that league folded due to the economy and so did my dreams of playing. Everything happens for a reason, it was meant for me to play lacrosse.
I understand you played some close D and LSM in college. Would you ever want to switch back to longpole in the MLL?
Julian Watts: Yes, I did play LSM in college… If i had to play pole again I would, but we have two stud LSM’s Ricky “Latino Heat” Pages and Steve “Hot Nickels” Panarelli who do an awesome job on the field.
Julian Watts: I used to listen to whatever girls liked, so when I was dancing it didn’t look like I was faking it, but nowaday’s I’m listening Jay-Z, Lil Wayne and Drake. My alternative side likes Kings of Leon, those guys are killing it. LAS readers should check out J.Cole, he’s a new up incoming artist.
Who’s in your Fantasy Football starting lineup this week?
Julian Watts: I’m in two leagues and I’m 3-1 in both, this bye week is hurting me but ill put up my impact players so far:
1. Tom Brady / Joe Flacco, QB
2. Desean Jackson, WR
3. Marques Colston, WR
4. Chad Ocho Cinco, WR
5. Ladanian Tomlinson, RB
6. Antonio Gates, TE
7. Packers, D/ST
8. Stephen Gostkowski, K
Got a prediction for the BCS Championship game this year?
Julian Watts: I’m a HUGE college football fan! I’m hoping for MIAMI to be in it, but I think it’s going to be Florida vs. Texas. LAS you heard it first!!
And finally, we recently published a pretty thought provoking post titled “If I Were A Millionaire” in which the writer and commenters explained their “lacrosse heaven.” Any chance we can hear yours?
Julian Watts: Wow, that’s a tough question! Let’s see…”If I Were A Millionaire” my lacrosse heaven would be a huge lacrosse tournament like Vail or Lake Placid with pro’s, club all-stars and college players. Each team would have one of the greatest in the game as a player/coach: The Gaits, Marachek, Millon, The Powells, Cattrano, even Jim Brown – I’ll see what he’s up too, LOL. It’d be a girls and guys tourney of course, and it would have to be on Long Island or in NYC. Nationwide coverage by Quint wouldn’t hurt either!