While the COVID-19 virus seeks to separate and isolate, Rutherford County native Carlos Watkins of the NFL's Houston Texans is staying connected by taking Small Town friendly values like giving to others deep in the heart of Texas. On Thursday April 16, Watkins bought breakfast for essential workers at the Houston-based Jetco Trucking Company before they left to deliver essential items to grocery stores and other facilities.
"The truck drivers are the ones making it happen for us," Watkins said. "They are risking their lives by making ours easier so I wanted to show appreciation."
The breakfast came from popular Texas fast food chain What-a-Burger
"Those guys get up early to be able to do their jobs," Watkins said. "I figured they would enjoy a hot breakfast more than anything else. It was actually my girlfriend's idea, but I was looking for a way to give back to the community and hopefully, in some small way, I was able to make their day better. It was just a way to say thank you."
Watkins is a 2012 graduate of Chase High School and played collegiately for Clemson Tigers where he was part of the 2017 National Championship team.
Watkins was then drafted by Texans' owner and Forest City native Robert McNair in the fourth round of the 2017 NFL draft. In his three year career so far, Watkins has garnered 47 tackles.
Watkins is hopeful that he and his Texans teammates will be able to play as scheduled in 2020.
"Not being able to play or practice with the guys is killing me," Watkins said. I'm so ready for things to get back to normal so we can get ready for the season."
The biggest challenge for Watkins is keeping to a routine
"That's where being a pro comes in," he said. "I have managed to eat mostly healthy and continue with workouts and training. It's tough to do by yourself. It takes discipline."
Watkins hopes that discipline pays off in a successful season for him personally for him and the Texans as 2020 marks the final season of his initial four year contract with Houston.
"Every season is important, but especially this year," Watkins said. "I personally want to have a big year because it is the last year of my contract. I need to be the best I can be."
Watkins and the Texans are scheduled to kick off the preseason in mid-August.