Mississippi State signee Nathaniel Watson’s career in Starkville could be in jeopardy before it even begins.
Watson was arrested on Friday and charged with first-degree assault stemming from a crash following a February 1 drag race with another student at his high school, as well as several other traffic violations, according to a report by Joyanna Love of The Clanton Advertiser.
The assault charge is a felony.
Love’s report, citing a Maplesville (Ala.) Police press release, states that while racing the other student, Watson was forced to swerve out of the way of an oncoming car, causing his car — which was carrying another passenger — to crash into a power pole, resulting in a loss of power for some in the surrounding area.
Perhaps most concerning, Watson’s passenger was severely injured in the crash, reportedly having suffered a broken femur, pelvis and right arm, as well as internal injuries. The passenger had to be airlifted to the hospital at the University of Alabama-Birmingham for treatment. There are no reports of Watson himself having suffered any injuries.
The student Watson was racing against, Tyrone Davis, was also arrested as a result of the crash. Davis had been driving with a 12-year-old as a passenger during in incident. To cap things off, neither Watson nor Davis’ cars were insured.
Six days after the crash, Watson officially signed to play football for Joe Moorhead at Mississippi State. It is unclear whether the school was aware of the incident at the time of Watson’s signing.
A 3-star athlete from Maplesville, Ala., Watson was expected to play wide receiver for the Bulldogs once he made it to campus this summer. It is unknown whether Mississippi State will take any disciplinary action against Watson or honor his scholarship agreement. The 6-foot-3, 200-pound Watson chose Mississippi State over offers from Auburn, Ole Miss, and others.