What college did Deshaun Watson play for? Exploring Browns QB’s NCAA career

The Cleveland Browns achieved a historic feat in the previous season by reaching the playoffs with four different quarterbacks at the helm. Initially led by Deshaun Watson, the Browns’ promising start took a hit when their starting quarterback suffered a season-ending injury.

Since his injury, he has faced significant challenges off the field, including a second suspension and a barrage of criticism from NFL fans. Amidst the turmoil, supporters of the quarterback may be seeking some positive news about his career. For those fans, we delve into Watson’s remarkable college achievements.

Deshaun Watson college team: All the details that you need

Deshaun Watson, a quarterback with a gunslinger mentality, kickstarted his college football journey with the Clemson Tigers in January 2014. Despite receiving enticing scholarship offers from college football royalty like Alabama, Auburn, and Ohio State, Watson ultimately decided to plant his flag at Clemson, a decision that would see him blossom into a future NFL star, per the NCAA.

Slipping into the legendary number 4 jersey, a mantle previously held by the Tigers’ gunslinger, Steve Fuller. Deshaun Watson wasted no time etching his name into the franchise’s record books. Fuller, in a classy gesture, relinquished the retired number, symbolizing the torch being passed to a new generation of signal-callers. By September, Watson had not only inherited the iconic jersey but also secured the starting quarterback role, leaving fans roaring with anticipation for the season ahead.

Under his leadership, Clemson experienced unprecedented success, starting with an impressive 14-0 record at the onset of the 2015 season. The Tigers’ remarkable journey culminated in a historic appearance in the College Football Playoff national championship game, where they faced off against the formidable Alabama Crimson Tide. Though they made a valiant effort, Clemson fell short and tasted defeat in the championship showdown.

Nevertheless, the 28-year-old refused to let disappointment define their legacy and returned to the national stage with renewed vigor the following season. In a dramatic rematch against Alabama, Clemson emerged victorious, securing the coveted national championship title of the 2016 season.

Exploring Deshaun Watson’s NCAA career stats

Deshaun Watson wasted no time in flashing his gunslinger potential as a freshman in 2014. He completed a scorching 67.9% of his passes, racking up 1,466 yards and 14 touchdown passes. He wasn’t just a pocket passer, either, showcasing his dual-threat ability by scrambling for an additional 93 yards.

His sophomore year saw Watson take his game to another level. He consistently peppered the field with passes, exceeding 200 yards in a stellar 10 out of 15 games. Watson wasn’t afraid to launch deep bombs, hitting the 300-yard mark five times and even exploding for a pair of 400-yard aerial assaults, displaying the arm strength and accuracy that would leave NFL scouts drooling.

During his tenure, Clemson’s football program flourished, boasting an impressive record of 33 wins and only 5 losses in the 38 games he played. This included consecutive outstanding seasons in 2015 and 2016, where the Tigers achieved a remarkable 14-1 record each year.

Watson’s exceptional athleticism and playmaking abilities let him become one of the few players in FBS history to surpass 2,000 passing yards and 1,000 rushing yards in a single season. In 2015, he amassed 4,104 passing yards and 1,105 rushing yards.

Furthermore, his exceptional 2016 season saw him establish new records for passing yards in a season (4,593 yards) and passing yards per game in a season (306.2 yards/game). 

For his outstanding achievements, he received numerous accolades, including being named the ACC Athlete of the Year in 2017 and winning the ESPY Award for Best Male College Athlete in the same year. Additionally, he was a finalist for the Heisman Trophy in 2015 and finished as the runner-up in 2016.

Before transitioning to the professional ranks as a first-round selection by the Houston Texans in the 2017 NFL Draft, the former Tigers’ player left an incredible mark on the FBS record books. His name appears five times in the FBS record books.

Shabiha Akter

1198 articles

Shabiha, once a casual observer, has morphed into a die-hard NFL fan. She carefully dissects every play, trade, and strategy. Whether it's breaking down game highlights or predicting playoff outcomes, Shabiha is your go-to source for all things NFL.


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