ALAMEDA, Calif. – Two years ago while attending a community college in Southern California, Menelik Watson was still trying to figure out what American football was all about.
On Thursday, the native of Manchester, England, will make his first start in the NFL — at a position he'd never played before until this week, and in front of one of the league's most hostile road crowds.
If that's not enough, Watson, the 42nd overall pick in the draft, will also have to protect the blind side of quarterback Terrelle Pryor, who is also making his first start of the preseason in Seattle.
Not that the 6-foot-5, 315-pound rookie is too concerned. After missing almost all of training camp with a calf injury, Watson is just happy to be back on the field no matter where he's lined up.