Stadium to bear Watkins' name


The football stadium at the new Lebanon High School will bear the name of one of the all-time Blue Devil greats -- Danny Watkins.

A recommendation was approved during Monday nights meeting of the Wilson County Board of Education following remarks by Watkins former LHS teammate Eddie Eskew and Wilson County Commissioner Annette Stafford.

Watkins was an All District and All Mid-State performer at tailback and linebacker for the Blue Devils under Coach David Petty in the 1972 season. Also starring in track and basketball at Lebanon High, Watkins was voted Most Talented as a senior.

He played in the TSSAA All-Star game and went on to have a distinguished football career at UT-Martin, starring at linebacker.

Watkins was voted Gulf South Conference Player of the Year, was a three-time all-conference player and in 1976 was named to the Associated Press All-America team. He was a two-year captain at UT-M.

In 1977 he signed a free agent contract with the Oakland Raiders of the NFL. In 2009, Watkins, along with Buster Jennings and Bruce Skeen, was inducted into the Blue Devil Sports Hall of Fame.

While the football stadium at the new school will bear the Watkins name, the playing surface was named Clifton Tribble Field some months ago -- in honor of the former Blue Devil standout player and coach.

By TOMMY BRYAN, tbryan@wilsonpost.com