BOONE, N.C. — Appalachian State head coach Eliah Drinkwitz announced Friday that the football program has added three immediately eligible graduate transfers in Keishawn Watson, Willie Edwards and Joey Cave.
Watson previously played receiver at Western Michigan and is from Wheaton, Ill. A native of Wichita, Kan., Edwards was a cornerback at Illinois State, and Cave spent three years as a lineman in Tennessee’s program. He is from Knoxville, Tenn., and attended the same high school as current App State linebacker Tim Frizzell.
After redshirting at Western Michigan in 2015, the 5-foot-11, 180-pound Watson totaled 68 catches for 728 yards and nine touchdown receptions over the next three seasons. He led the team with seven touchdown receptions and 41 catches during the 2017 season, when he also threw touchdown passes of 27 and 13 yards.
As a redshirt junior in 2018, Watson caught 25 passes for 330 yards and two scores.
Watson posted his best receiving game at Western Michigan when he made five catches for 93 yards and two touchdowns against Ball State in 2017. That immediately followed a six-catch game with two touchdowns against Wagner.
The 6-1, 200-pound Edwards started at cornerback each of the last two seasons for Illinois State and totaled 76 tackles in 19 games during that time. After redshirting in 2015 and being named the scout team’s top performer on special teams, he totaled two interceptions and 10 pass breakups over the next three seasons.
Edwards started the first eight games of the 2018 season and had a career-high 11 tackles against top-ranked FCS opponent North Dakota State, which pulled out a 28-14 victory against No. 7 Illinois State.
The 6-4, 312-pound Cave worked as an offensive lineman for his final two years at Tennessee after arriving as a defensive lineman in 2016.
App State returns 17 of its 22 offensive and defensive starters from last year’s team that won the inaugural Sun Belt Conference Championship Game and defeated Middle Tennessee in the R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl. The Mountaineers will open the 2019 season with an Aug. 31 home game against East Tennessee State.
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