FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Undrafted rookie tight end Asa Watson of NC State is no stranger to Gillette Stadium. The younger brother of former New England Patriots tight end Benjamin Watson (2004-09), he remembers being in the stands for some great moments in franchise history. One of them came late in the 2005 season.
"I remember Doug Flutie's dropkick vividly,” Watson said Tuesday on a day in which a handful of the team's rookies met with reporters. “Sitting up in the stands, and now I’m actually being a part of it. It’s really cool. Surreal.”
When Benjamin Watson was selected by the Patriots in the first round of the 2004 draft, Asa Watson was in the eighth grade. The two are close.
"He’s always been there to give me pointers and anything I needed help on," Asa said, after telling the story of how he remembers watching Benjamin chase down Denver Broncos cornerback Champ Bailey in the 2005 playoffs in one of the great plays in franchise history. "Just little things. He’s always been an example of how to work hard, how to be determined, hustle. He’s always been a great example for me.”
Asa Watson has been assigned jersey No. 86. His brother wore 84.
As for similarities between their style of play, Asa deflected any links between them.
"I can just say I can only be the best I can be. He had a great career and he had a great influence here," he said. "So all I can do is bring my best every day to try to make a great contribution."