DURHAM, N.C. - Over the years, Duke football has developed a strong relationship with the National Alliance of African American Athletes (NAAAA) and Watkins Award. Recently, Blue Devil Network talked to Everette Pearsall, the Executive Officer of the NAAAA, which presents the Watkins Award.
The Franklin D. Watkins Memorial Trophy Award was initiated in 1992 to promote academic excellence among young African-American males. As unavoidable role models on the "image" front lines, talented athletes - especially in football, basketball and baseball - define what the emerging generations of African-American males will value, and the aspirations they will have. The Watkins Trophy Award is a means for recognizing exceptionally talented African-American male athletes who, by their example, help promote high academic standards and a commitment to community service.
The Watkins Award is named after Franklin D. Watkins, the NAAAA founder and a coach and mentor in Harrisburg, Pa., who had a unique gift for communicating and relating to African-American youth.
Duke football has had one Watkins Award recipient in former All-America safety Matt Daniels. Former Blue Devils Vince Oghobaase and Deion Williams, along with current linebacker Zavier Carmichael, were finalists for the award.