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The Student News Site of Burke High School

The Burke Beat

The Student News Site of Burke High School

The Burke Beat

Burke alumni wins Bronko Nagurski award

2020 graduate Xavier Watts leads the FBS in interceptions at Notre Dame
Anna Weeks
Former Bulldog football player Xavier Watts runs the ball past defenders in his senior season.
Xavier Watts portrait on the official Notre Dame athletics website.

Xavier Watts was a key player in Burke football for many years, and his career has blossomed even more as a Notre Dame safety. The Bronko Nagurski award is given to the best defensive player in college football every year, and Watts is now the most recent recipient.

Watts began his football career at Burke and was a huge asset on the field. He played both offense and defense. On offense he recorded 2,978 yards and 36 touchdowns. On defense, he racked up 136 tackles and nine interceptions. He originally committed to Notre Dame as a wide receiver.

In May, Watts graduated from Notre Dame but still has two years left of eligibility, due to being redshirted his Covid season and the extra year of eligibility the NCAA granted players.

In the 2023 season he had 47 tackles and 7 interceptions, stats that led him on the path to winning the Nagurski award.

During his time at Burke Watts was coached by Paul Limongi. The now Westside coach shared his support for his former player on X. Limongi wrote “Couldn’t be more proud of this young man” in a post on Dec. 5.

Many Omaha natives are rooting for Watts to further his career into the NFL, but Watts has yet to declare whether or not he’ll enter the draft.



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About the Contributor
Kaitlyn Lisko
Kaitlyn Lisko, Editor-in-Chief
Senior Kaitlyn Lisko is beginning her third year on the newspaper staff and second year as editor-in-chief. At school she's also involved in senior senate and African-American history challenge.

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