Former high school, college football player killed in accident

LITTLE ROCK (KATV) - Former college football player Jaalen Watkins was killed in a two-vehicle traffic accident early Thursday morning.

Arkansas State Police responded to the accident on Interstate 630 just after 2:00 AM.

A traffic report says two Dodge Chargers were traveling eastbound at a high rate of speed when they collided and went off the road.

Watkins was one of three people in the car, driven by Natalia Matthews of Little Rock. Matthews and David Simmons of Little Rock were both ejected from the vehicle and suffered injuries. Both survivors were transported to area hospitals where their current conditions are unknown.

Watkins played high school football at Central Arkansas Christian, before transferring for his senior year at Joe T. Robinson High School. The star running back was recruited by Northwest Missouri State University, but transferred to UCA before finding his way to Ouachita Baptist University.

Todd Knight, OBU head football coach, said Watkins was supposed to play this fall but said he was suffering from knee problems and decided ultimately to call it quits for the season.

Another former coach, Todd Eskola, Robinson's head football coach told Channel 7 News, "He was a good kid. He made everyone around him smile."