Deshaun Watson voted preseason ACC Player of the Year


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Watson received 164 votes in ACC Player of the Year balloting

Clemson junior quarterback Deshaun Watson was the overwhelming choice to repeat as ACC Player-of-the-Year after his record-setting 2015 campaign. Watson was also the media’s preseason selection as conference player-of-the-year last season.

Watson will lead a Clemson offense that also returns talented running back Wayne Gallman, leading wide receiver Artavis Scott and steady offensive linemen Jay Guillermo, Mitch Hyatt and Tyrone Crowder. Linebacker Ben Boulware leads a group of five returning defensive starters. The Tigers, who have won at least 10 games each of the past five seasons, will seek their 16th ACC championship in 2016.

Watson led the preseason ACC Player-of-the-Year balloting with 164 votes, followed by Florida State running back Dalvin Cook with 18. North Carolina running back Elijah Hood received four votes, while Hurricane quarterback Brad Kaaya and Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson picked up two votes apiece. Duke cornerback/return specialist DeVon Edwards received one vote.

Watson captured both the Davey O’Brien and Manning Awards as the nation’s top quarterback in 2015 after passing for 4,104 yards and 35 touchdowns while rushing for 1,105 yards and 12 more scores. The Gainesville, Ga., native became the first player in FBS history to amass 4,000 passing yards and 1,000 rushing yards in a single season.

The ACC Male Athlete-of-the-Year and MVP of both the Dr Pepper ACC Football Championship Game and Capital One Orange Bowl, Watson was fifth nationally in completion percentage (67.8) and was voted ACC Offensive Back-of-the-Week four times in 2015. Watson is bidding to become the first student-athlete to be named ACC Football Player-of-the-Year in back-to-back seasons since Florida State’s Charlie Ward in 1992,93.

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