We all know Clemson Tigers quarterback DeShaun Watson as something of an inspirational legend right now.
Last season, in the team’s regular season finale against Steve Spurrier’s South Carolina Gamecocks, Watson turned heads as he played with a torn ACL and actually led his team to a 35-17 victory.
Even more impressive was that he completed 14 of 19 passes for 269 yards and two touchdowns, and also added two rushing scores…with a torn ACL.
Speaking to Dan Wolken of USA Today, Watson elaborated on his decision to play against Clemson’s arch rival with such a serious injury.
“My high school coach was a big Clemson fan and I told him, as long as I’m the starting quarterback here, I’m not going to lose to South Carolina. It’s a big rivalry. Who wouldn’t want to play in that game? It was a family decision. They put it on me, and it’s what I wanted to do. Of course people say I have a future down the road (to protect), but I live in the moment and that moment was then and I wanted to play.”
Sure enough, the quarterback from Gainesville, Georgia came through and helped the Tigers win its annual game against South Carolina for the first time in five years. He didn’t play in the Russell Athletic Bowl, which Clemson won 40-6 against Oklahoma, but still had an impressive (albeit injury-riddled) freshman season in which he threw for 1,466 yards, 14 touchdowns and just two interceptions. Hopefully, he can continue to improve as a sophomore.
Clemson finished last season 10-3 (6-2 ACC), its seventh under head coach Dabo Swinney.
*Featured Photo (above) credit to USA TODAY Sports