David Watford starting at QB for Riders in pre-season opener

David Watford will start at quarterback for the Saskatchewan Roughriders in the pre-season opener in Edmonton against the Eskimos.

The 24-year-old spent parts of two seasons (2016 and 2017) playing receiver with the Philadelphia Eagles in the NFL. Watford signed with the Riders in October 2017 as a quarterback.

That’s the position I was born to play,” Watford said.

The last time he played in a game as a quarterback was in 2015 at Hampton University. As a senior, Watford passed for 2,088 yards, 21 touchdowns against 14 interceptions and rushed 75 times for 172 yards and three touchdowns. He spent three years at the University of Virginia and transferred to Hampton for his final year of NCAA eligibility.

“This is my first time playing quarterback in three years,” Watford, the 6-foot-2, 212-pound signal caller, said about the exhibition tilt in Edmonton.

Chris Jones had an eye on Watford for a few years, initially working him out after Watford finished his collegiate career.

“He ran a 4.5 and had a tremendous arm. He as an awful good high school quarterback, He’s very athletic, got a tremendous arm, seems to have great poise in the pocket, moves around similar to [Brandon] Bridge in the pocket and can make all the throws,” Jones said.

The Riders head coach laid out the plans for his team at the pivot position, Zach Collaros and Brandon Bridge won’t suit up.

“David Watford will start the game, Marquise [Williams] will play,” Jons said, “and then, the  second half of the game we’ll come in with B.J. [Daniels].”

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