On Now
Coming Up
  • Wed., Sep. 03, 2014 5:00 PM MDT Gatorade Junior Training Camp Play 60 Fall Kickoff Kickoff event for Play 60 with local Boys and Girls Clubs
  • Thu., Sep. 04, 2014 5:00 PM MDT Gatorade Junior Training Camp Play 60 Fall Kickoff Kickoff event for Play 60 with local Boys and Girls Clubs
  • Sun., Sep. 07, 2014 6:30 PM MDT Denver Broncos vs. Indianapolis Colts

    The Denver Broncos open up the 2014 season when they host the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday Night Football on NBC.

  • Sun., Sep. 14, 2014 2:25 PM MDT Denver Broncos vs. Kansas City Chiefs The Denver Broncos host the Kansas City Chiefs in the first AFC West matchup of the 2014 season. The game will be broadcast on CBS.
  • Tue., Sep. 16, 2014 12:00 PM MDT Fuel Up to Play 60 For the Love of Play Assembly Fuel Up to Play 60 For the Love of Play Assembly.
  • Sun., Sep. 21, 2014 2:25 PM MDT Denver Broncos at Seattle Seahawks The Denver Broncos face the Seattle Seahawks in the team's first road game of the 2014 season. The game will be televised on CBS.
  • Sun., Oct. 05, 2014 2:05 PM MDT Denver Broncos Pink Game The Denver Broncos annual Salute to Survivors halftime recognition, celebrating breast cancer survivors at the team's game against the Arizona Cardinals.
  • Sun., Oct. 05, 2014 2:05 PM MDT Broncos vs. Cardinals The Broncos face the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday, Oct. 5 at 2:05 p.m. MT. The game will be broadcast on FOX.
  • Tue., Oct. 07, 2014 8:30 AM - 5:30 PM MDT Drive for Life XVII

    Bonfils Blood Center and the Denver Broncos work together on an annual Drive for Life event which is the largest single day blood drive in Colorado.

    Tuesday, October 7, 2014
    Sports Authority Field at Mile High
    Click here for more information about the 2014 DFL event.

    Learn more from Broncos Executive Vice President of Football Operations/General Manager John Elway and 9News' Cheryl Preheim about 2014 Drive for Life.

  • Sun., Oct. 12, 2014 11:00 AM MDT Denver Broncos at New York Jets The Denver Broncos travel to Met Life Stadium to take on the New York Jets on Oct. 12, 2014 at 11 a.m. MT. The game will be broadcast on CBS.

News & Blogs

Print
RSS

Finding His Calling

Posted Apr 6, 2011

Baylor tackle Danny Watkins thought his future was as a firefighter, but after just four years of football experience, he is set to be one of the first linemen taken in the draft.

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- Danny Watkins knew exactly what he wanted to do after high school.

In his hometown of Kelowna, British Columbia, Watkins served as a part-time firefighter for four years.

He left Canada for Butte College in California because of the school's firefighting academy, but it was there he found his newest passion -- football.

"I played hockey and rugby in high school -- those were the sports to play," Watkins said. "I never really watched football. I watched the (Vancouver) Canucks and that was it."

After talking with the football coach at Butte, he decided to hit the gridiron for the first time in his life.

Things, as Watkins put it, took off. In two seasons he had made himself a junior college All-American and decided to transfer to Baylor to build on his newfound success.

"I met with (Baylor Head) Coach (Art) Briles and (Broncos center) J.D. Walton and some of the other guys and liked them right away and thought that was the right place for me," he said.

He started all 25 games of his Baylor career, earning All-Big 12 honors as a senior and leading an offensive line that ranked third in the Big 12 and 24th nationally in rushing and fourth in sacks allowed in the conference in 2010.

Now, with just four years of football experience, he is expected to be one of the top tackles taken in the 2011 NFL Draft.

It's the last place Watkins ever thought he would be, as he grew up idolizing hockey players and playing the sport as a child.

"I was a true Canadian hockey kid -- that's what you did growing up," he said. "But when you're 270 pounds in the 12th grade ... there weren't many players in the NHL that size."

Though he had to give up that dream, he said there is plenty that he has carried over from the game to football, like moving backwards in hockey translating to pass blocking.

Because of his firefighting career, Watkins is older than most of the other prospects entering the draft. But at 26, he doesn't see it as a hindrance.

"Well I don't have arthritis, so," he laughed. "I'm a little more mature than the other guys. I don't think it's a negative."

As he continues with his new career, he hopes the success of fellow Bears in the NFL will help him come draft day.

"I think Baylor will be known for putting out offensive linemen," Watkins said. "It goes to show you the program they're running. It's definitely good to follow in (Rams offensive tackle) Jason (Smith) and J.D.'s footsteps."

Facebook Comments

Let us know your thoughts. Comment below through Facebook, AOL, Hotmail or Yahoo accounts.