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franklin county times
Russellville's Caden Watts signs April 21 to continue his football career with the University of Alabama Birmingham Blazers. Watts said he plans on pursuing a degree in kinesiology to work toward a career as a chiropractor.

RHS senior signs to play at UAB 

Another Russellville Golden Tiger is advancing in his football career, as senior Caden Watts signed April 21 as a preferred walk-on at the University of Alabama-Birmingham. 

Watts said he has been keeping up with UAB football for years and is looking forward to being a part of the Blazers’ winning team. 

“I always wanted to play at the biggest place I was able to, so for me to be going there is a dream come true,” Watts said. 

Watts said when he visited UAB, the campus instantly felt like home. 

“I just felt like it was the best place for me both for football and for me to get the best education,” Watts said.  

Watts said he plans on pursuing a degree in kinesiology at UAB before going to Life University to study chiropractic. 

Watts said although it is not going to be new playing for a team with an expectation of winning, it is going to be different playing in front of such a large crowd. 

“UAB is known for having a lot of fans and always having a great atmosphere,” Watts said. “It is definitely going to take some getting used to, being in that kind of environment.” 

Watts, a cornerback for the Golden Tigers, helped RHS to a 9-3 finish in the 2020-21 season, with the team advancing to the third round of playoffs. 

Russellville head football coach John Ritter said he has seen Watts improve both physically and mentally as a player over the years. 

“He has really put in a lot of time in the weight room to grow physically, but he also put in time in the classroom to really understand the game,” Ritter said. 

Ritter said the Blazers are getting a hard-working athlete with a strong understanding of the game. 

“He is a very intelligent player,” Ritter said. “He is a guy that is going to come to work every day and give it his all.”  

Watts said he will be playing on the defensive side of the ball at UAB. He said his biggest goal is make a difference in whatever role he is placed in. 

“I know everyone has a role on the team that they play,” Watts said. “Whether it is on the sidelines or on the field, I hope to do that job as best as I can.”