While the DeShaun Watson jersey is a popular buy in Houston, we’re talking about one of the players of the upcoming decade. I can honestly see DeShaun Watson becoming a top ten player in the NFL and will be mentioned in the same breath as Aaron Rodgers someday.
Think I’m exaggerating?
Well, let’s take a look at some facts.
Watson went 3-3 as a starter in 2017 and led the team to an 11-5 finish in 2018 plus an AFC South Divisional Title.
He has a career quarterback rating of 103. He’s tossed 45 touchdowns compared to 17 interceptions and in 2018, his first full season as a starter, he threw for over 4,000 yards.
Watson has also rushed for 551 yards and 5 touchdowns.
He’s the hottest young quarterback in the league outside the likes of the Chiefs’ Patrick Mahomes and the Browns’ Baker Mayfield. Yet even with Mahomes and Mayfield, he’s forging his own path and has already become a perennial Pro Bowl player.
Look for Watson to continue his success for years to come.
Who is DeShaun Watson?
Watson attended Gainesville High School in Gainesville, Georgia. He won the starting job at quarterback as a freshman in high school, something that is unheard of in high school sports. He set state records in total yards, total touchdowns, career passing yards, and career passing touchdowns.
He won the state championship as a junior, earned recognition as a Junior All-American, and was a 2014 Top 100 recruit.
The number one ranked high school quarterback by ESPN, Watson committed to Clemson.
Little did anyone know that Watson was just then coming into his own and that his career in high school was just a foreshadowing of what was to come as a three-year member of the Clemson Tigers football team.
Watson entered his true freshman season as a backup but won the starting job on September 21st, 2014. In his first start, he threw for 435 yards and set the school record for most touchdown passes in a single game with six. Unfortunately, wrist, LCL, and ultimately an ACL injury cut his freshman season short and his missed most of the season.
Clemson returned to powerhouse status for good under Watson’s leadership the following season, finishing the year 12-0 and #1 in the AP poll. After winning the ACC Championship, Watson’s Clemson Tigers were selected to compete in the College Football Playoff, and advanced to the National Championship against Alabama.
Despite losing 45-40 to the Crimson Tide, Watson threw for 405 yards and four touchdowns, scoring a fifth on a rushing attempt. In doing so, he became the first quarterback in NCAA history to throw for 4,000 yards and rush for 1,000 yards in a single season.
He was a finalist for the Heisman Trophy that season and became the first Clemson player invited to the trophy presentation ceremony. He won the Davey O’Brien Award and was voted the ACC Player and Offensive Player of the Year.
His success continued in 2016, winning the Davey O’Brien Award again, becoming the first player since Jason White in 2003-04 to do so. He won the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award and became the first player to win back-to-back Manning Awards. He was again voted a Heisman finalist, finishing second to Lamar Jackson.
Again, his Clemson Tigers made the college football playoff and upset the favored Ohio State Buckeyes 31-0, advancing to the National Championship for a rematch against the Alabama Crimson Tide.
The game became one of the most memorable in the history of college football, with Watson throwing a last-second touchdown pass to Hunter Renfrow, securing Clemson’s first National Championship in three decades.
Following the 2016 Season, Watson declared for the NFL Draft.
After a draft process that saw Watson, DeShone Kizer, Mitchell Trubisky, and Patrick Mahomes fighting to be the first quarterback selected, he fell to the twelfth slot and was scooped up by the Houston Texans after a trade with the Cleveland Browns.
Initially serving as the backup to Tom Savage, Watson entered the game during the season opener after Texans’ coach benched Savage in favor of him.
Watson took the starting job and never looked back, throwing for 19 touchdowns with only 8 interceptions as he set the Texans’ offense alive, throwing for 1,699 yards in his seven games, six as a starter. He completed 62% of his passes and averaged an outstanding 8.2 yards per pass attempt.
Unfortunately, his season ended when he tore his ACL during a practice session, ending his season.
Watson returned in 2018 and after a slow start, picked up right where he left off in 2017, throwing for 26 touchdowns and only 9 interceptions in sixteen games. He completed 68.3% of his passes and surpassed 4,000 passing yards for the first time in his career.
Watson has tied or set the following NFL records:
1. Most touchdown passes in a single game with five.
2. Most touchdown passes by a rookie quarterback in a calendar month with sixteen.
3. Most touchdown passes by a rookie quarterback in one half with four.
4. First player in NFL history to throw for over 400 yards and 4 touchdowns while rushing for more than 50 yards in a single game.
5. First player in NFL history with five touchdown passes in multiple games in his first two seasons.
6. First player in NFL history to have 4,000+ passing yards, 25+ touchdown passes, and over 500 rushing yards in a single season.
7. Most passing yards by a rookie in a five-game span with 18.
8. Longest streak of 3 or more touchdown passes in a single game with 4.
And keep in mind, Watson is only in his first two seasons.