After a legendary performance against the Legion of Boom, Deshaun Watson’s career looks like one of the brightest in the NFL
He became the first quarterback in history to pass for over 400 yards, 4+ TD passes, and rush for 50+ yards in a game. It became clear to everybody that Watson and the Texans are for real. With those kinds of stats, especially against Seattle’s defense, you’d think the Texans would have won.
Unfortunately for him, but fortunately for the Seahawks (#GoHawks), it just wasn’t enough.
In a game that came down to the wire, Seattle was able to put the ball back in Russell Wilson’s hands. With less than a minute left of game time, Russ marched down the field to score the game winning TD.
While Wilson’s performance was slightly better than Deshaun’s (4 TD, 452 pass yards, and 30 rushing), it’s amazing Deshaun was able to accomplish what he did… as a rookie.
Unfortunately, yesterday Watson tore his ACL during practice and his rookie of the year campaign came to and end.
On the other hand this isn’t the first time he’s dealt with adversity.
— LeBron James (@KingJames) November 2, 2017
Deshaun was born in Gainesville, Georgia to his mother Deann Watson, who had three other children. For the first 10 years of his life, Deshaun and his family resided in public housing.
That all changed one Halloween when his mother checked his candy to make sure it was safe. While searching his basket, she found a pamphlet for ‘Habitat for Humanity’. In order to qualify for the home, she needed to work a minimum 200 hours community service and also take courses in construction.
In 2006, the Watson family moved into their new home in part thanks to former NFL star Warrick Dunn who works with the organization.
— Houston Texans (@HoustonTexans) October 19, 2017
To Ms. Watson, no amount of hours was greater than giving her children a better standard of living. A young Deshaun said,
“I felt grown having my own room…It was a great moment, a special moment.”
While growing up, Deshaun had an older brother that he looked up to. His older brother was a football star.
Seeing him make plays motivated Deshaun to take up football. His mother ended up picking up on that interest.
At around 7-8 years old, his mother bought him football figures. He would line them up in formations and run plays with them. Deshaun’s mother, Soniya Watson, said,
“It’s just something about him, I’ll put it this way, he had a gift on him and he’s just sharing his gift.”
As he got older, Deshaun decided to take his interests to the actual field. He began his football career at Gainesville High School. Upon seeing the way he carried himself, his leadership skills, and not to mention his talent on the field, people began to take notice.
Deshaun started Varsity from freshman year and never looked back. His high school head coach Bruce Miller once said,
“He’s one of those kids we talk about ‘it’ in athletics, and he’s got it…it’s been the Deshaun Watson show here in Gainesville.”
During his freshman year, Deshaun passed for over 2,000+ passing yards, 17 TD’s, and led his team to a 10-2 record. After a year like that, Deshaun started garnering attention from schools across the nation.
He was able to handle the newfound fame by knowing that as soon as it came, it could all go away. This motivated Deshaun to play his best ball. His future was looking bright.
Then the winter of 2012 came. Deann and her family learned she had tongue cancer. In order to save her life, Deann had to have her tongue removed. Although she no longer has a tongue, she was able to work with it.
Upon learning the news, the only thing Deshaun could do was cry. Deshaun’s mother said,
“I was sad. I was depressed. It was a heard time for me. It really was.”
Deshaun, being the fighter that he is, took his mother’s experience as motivation and inspiration to be great at anything he wanted to do.
After finishing his senior year of high school, Deshaun was the number one quarterback in the nation. Knowing he wanted to continue his football dreams, Deshaun began debating on which college would be best for his needs.
After much consideration, he decided on Clemson University. The school was impressed at how he was able to handle his family’s tough situation and offered him an opportunity to compete at a good school while still being close to home.
During his freshman year at college, Deshaun immediately began making waves. Unfortunately he broke his hand a couple weeks into the season. After he came back just 3 weeks later, he tore his ACL. Strangely, he didn’t feel any pain after the game.
Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney admired Deshaun for his character saying,
“That Sunday he came to me with a trainer trying to convince me that he could play South Carolina, I’m like ‘What do you mean you could play?’ He said ‘Well i don’t have any pain and I can move just fine’, he was just adamant that he could do it. And heck by Tuesday afternoon, I couldn’t even tell anything was wrong with him. I’ve never seen anything like it. He takes off from about the 12 yard line and darts in for a touchdown, dives in, I thought we were going to have to get a stretcher to get him up. It was one of the most incredible performances I’ve seen…ever.”
Deshaun would go on to have a great college career, going on to two National Championships, and winning one.
Now that he’s in the NFL, Deshaun hasn’t forgotten his roots and works with Habitat for Humanity to help make sure those less fortunate have a chance at a home.
With his season ended prematurely, we can only hope that he bounces back from his injury just as well as he did his others. We’re sure he will.