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Badgers' RB Nakia Watson enters transfer portal

Badgers' RB Nakia Watson enters transfer portal

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Nakia Watson - Wisconsin Iowa -- transfer

Wisconsin running back Nakia Watson runs from Iowa defensive lineman Zach VanValkenburg. Watson entered the NCAA transfer portal on Friday. 

Running back Nakia Watson’s time with the University of Wisconsin football program is over.

The redshirt sophomore from Austin, Texas, has entered the NCAA transfer portal, a UW official confirmed Friday. 247Sports first reported the news.

Nakia Watson mug


Watson was a four-star recruit coming out of Westlake High School in 2018 and redshirted his first season in Madison. He was the backup to Jonathan Taylor in 2019 and gained 331 yards and two touchdowns on 74 carries.

He was expected to be one of the lead tailbacks for the Badgers this season. But the emergence of Jalen Berger, a four-star freshman running back, cut into Watson’s snaps and he was listed as unavailable the last two games of the year.

With Berger and three running backs in the 2021 class, Watson leaves what would’ve become a crowded running back room.

Watson had 191 yards and three touchdowns on 53 carries this season.

He finishes his Badgers career with 127 carries, 522 rushing yards and three touchdowns.

The NCAA is expected to pass a rule this month that would allow players to transfer once during their careers and be immediately eligible, so it’s likely Watson could be playing elsewhere next fall. Watson is the second member of the UW offense to enter the transfer portal this winter, following senior quarterback Jack Coan.

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