The Watson Era

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The Watson Era

Saturday night is a new beginning for Clemson football.  Saturday night is the start of the Deshaun WatsonDeshaun Watson
Fr. Quarterback
#4 6-3, 204
Gainesville, GA

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You could say that it started with the fourth drive in the FSU game but this is the first time fans go into a game knowing Watson is the guy and there is a buzz around the Clemson program as a result.

At this point the sample size is only three games but the true freshman from Gainesville, GA has dazzled.

If Watson is anything close to being as good as I think he is then Clemson football is in great shape the next three or four seasons.

What we have seen from Watson has given the fan base a renewed enthusiasm in the face of a 1-2 start.

The thing I like about Watson the most is his poise.  He doesn't look like a true freshman.  The moment has not been too big for him.  In the season opener in Athens he came into the game and looked as cool as a cucumber.  I would think most freshmen playing 30 minutes from their hometown in a hostile environment would show some signs of nerves.  Watson looked like he had been doing this all of his life.  His eyes didn't look scared.  He looked focused on the process and came into the game to deliver two beautiful passes in his first drive as a Tiger, including a phenomenal touchdown pass to Charone PeakeCharone Peake
RS Jr. Wide Receiver
#19 6-3, 204
Moore, SC

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Shortly after touching The Rock for the first time in his first home game, Watson ripped off more terrific throws and led his team to four touchdowns in his four drives.  His only incompletion was a ball that could have been caught.

And last week in a hostile environment against the nation's top-ranked team and a future NFL secondary Watson went 19 of 28 and won the ACC's Rookie-of-the-Week award.  In doing so he looked calm and never backed down from the moment.

Watson's mobility in the pocket is perhaps the thing that impresses me next.  He moves around in the pocket after feeling pressure while he keeps his eyes looking downfield.  Watson senses pressure and escapes to buy extra time in the pocket.

When flushed from the pocket his arm strength and accuracy take over.  The throw he made to Adam HumphriesAdam Humphries
Sr. Wide Receiver
#13 5-11, 193
Spartanburg, SC

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on the run in Tallahassee is an example of a physical marvel.

Watson has been described as a dual threat quarterback and can hurt the defense when he decides to run, but I would still consider him a passer first.  The zone read is a part of his game but at this point it is not the strength of his game.

Finally, another extremely impressive aspect of this freshman is his humble nature.  As humans one of our weaknesses is handling success.  Most of us crumble with success.  At this point I love what I see and hear from Watson.  Unlike many egos, Watson appears to be grounded and well suited for the accolades that could spoil others.

There is a lot to like about this freshman and he comes along at a point where Clemson fans needs something to cling to.  A 1-2 start without the potential success in the future with Watson wouldn't be quite as intriguing or exciting as the next nine games appear to be with him.

Watson is a guy that you can build a program around.  Clemson football had a great brand with C.J. SpillerC.J. Spiller
Pro Running Back
#28 5-11, 195
Lake Butler, FL

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Chad MorrisChad Morris
Offensive Coordinator / QBs
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, Tajh BoydTajh Boyd
Quarterback (2009 - 2013)
#10 6-1, 225
Hampton, VA

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, Nuk Hopkins and Sammy WatkinsSammy Watkins
Wide Receiver (2011 - 2013)
#2 6-1, 205
Fort Myers, FL

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built another brand in another era.  Saturday night begins a new era.  The Deshaun Watson Era.

Is it fair to put so much on the shoulders of a true freshman?  After all, Clemson does have seniors like Grady JarrettGrady Jarrett
Sr. Defensive Tackle
#50 6-1, 290
Conyers, GA

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, Vic BeasleyVic Beasley
RS Sr. Defensive End
#3 6-2, 236
Adairsville, GA

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and Stephone AnthonyStephone Anthony
Sr. Linebacker
#42 6-2, 244
Polkton, NC

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in this season.  To call it an era with a true freshman at the helm might not be fair to others in the program.  However, if most of us are honest, the reason for excitement about Saturday night starts with the first start for Deshaun Watson.  The next three or four years appear to be bright when you think about the signing class of offensive linemen like Mitch Hyatt, Jake Fruhmorgen and Noah Green, plus the skill athletes like Deon Cain and Ray Ray McCloud III.  But it all starts with Watson and it all starts Saturday night in Death Valley.

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Defensive Tackle (2008 - 2011)
#98 6-2, 310
Thomasville, GA

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, Alvin Sammons, Georgine McAlhaney, Glen Davis, Mike Price, Clay Childers, Aaron Knight, Danielle Johnston and family, Nicholas Abrams, Lana Kuykendall, Gary, Gary G., William Huggins, Jim Bennett, Chantz Fowler, Ethel McElveen, Michele Gurganus, William Gentry, Lewis Usher and Tanya Sanders,  Shon Cooper, Nick Collins, Amanda Peake, Danny Hammond, Chip Turner, Nick Collins, Allen Steen, the Sturkey family, the Lance family, Nick Chrisley's family, Allison Williams, Lt. Kyle Walker, Summer and Joel Johnson, Nicole O'Donnell, James O. Johnson, Joy Pruett and family, Bill Schmidt, Jack Bailey, Gardner Family, Charles Turner, Kathy Bartholomew, Ray Sanders, David and Robin Blocker, J.R. Ray, Kenneth Kowe, Lauren Sielicki, Jenna Phipps, Mark Lawrence, Harlan Sullins, Peter Laboy, Kat and Carlisle Jones, Elizabeth Galloway and family, Anita McDonald, Willard Harryman, Liz Surratt, Molly Senn, Jackie Shearer, Richard Sellers, Tim Drisdelle, Edward Easterling, Dawson Bourne, Susan and Mike Brown, Julie Goodman Marshall, Willard and Dorothy Harryman, Justin Jernigan, Jack  Cunningham,  Mia Daughtery, Tee Senn, Jim Lanier, Bob Garrett, Skylar, Joseph Thomas, Mrs. Nelis, Jeanne Thompson, Sean Rowell, George Parker, Levon KirklandLevon Kirkland
# 0, 0

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and family, Catherine Sewell, Randy Davenport, Patrick DeStefanoPatrick DeStefano
Offensive Line (2012 - 2013)
#71 6-5, 275
Spartanburg, SC

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, David Vaughn, Keith Dalton, B.T., Bill Hilbig, Rita Elrod Hammond and family, Jim McKeller, Tony Alewine, Sharon Storck, Dick Baird, Richard Bagnal, Tavaris BarnesTavaris Barnes
RS Sr. Defensive End
#9 6-4, 273
Jacksonville, FL

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and family, Dustin and Brittany Peurifoy, Jan Allan, Josh Cox, Tommy "Red" Harper, Gregg and Sylvia Lewis, Travis Hamrick, Kaki Harmon, Brandy Stephens, Jammie McKellar and babies, Karen Edwards, Jackson Lindsey, Cathy Hutson Gregg, and our great country and the men and women in uniform that protect and serve it every day, plus their families.

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