ACC football: Deshaun Watson the best QB in the past decade

Dec 3, 2016; Orlando, FL, USA; Clemson Tigers quarterback Deshaun Watson (4) walks off the field after a game against the Virginia Tech Hokies during the ACC Championship college football game at Camping World Stadium. Clemson Tigers won 42-35. Mandatory Credit: Logan Bowles-USA TODAY Sports

Deshaun Watson has solidified himself as the best quarterback to ever play at Clemson. Watson also solidified himself as one of the greatest players in the history of ACC football.

The ACC has it’s fair share of great quarterbacks in guys like Matt Ryan, Russell Wilson, and Jameis Winston, however, none of their careers stack up with Deshaun Watson’s.


Deshaun Watson is 32-3 in his career at Clemson. The only other quarterback in recent memory that can claim a record similar to Watson’s is Jameis Winston who went 27-1 as a starter at Florida State. As much as Jameis Winston was know as a “winner” in college, Watson surpassed even his greatness.

Both Winston and Watson won back-to-back ACC Championships and both won a National Title. The biggest difference is, Deshaun Watson led Clemson to two straight National Title appearances. If it wasn’t for Clemson’s defensive meltdown in the fourth quarter against Alabama in 2015, Watson would have won two back-to-back National Titles.

Dual threat

Deshaun Watson is the best quarterback in the ACC over the past decade because of his unique skill set. Lamar Jackson and Tyrod Taylor were lethal with their legs; Mitch Trubisky and E.J. Manuel were equally lethal with their arms. Watson on the other hand is lethal with both.

When looking for a dual threat quarterback Deshaun Watson fits the bill all the way around. He has the size at 6’2, 210 pounds to take the beating that comes with running the football and he has the accuracy required to carve up a defense.

During his three seasons playing in the ACC, Watson amassed 10,163 yards and 90 touchdowns through the air and 1,934 yards and 26 touchdowns on the ground. Watson could have ran for far more yards and touchdowns while at Clemson, but, his coaches understood that he could win games from the pocket so they saved his legs for games down the road.


Deshaun Watson is not the most outspoken individual, however, there is no denying his ownership of not only Clemson’s offense, but, the entire team. Watson carries himself with a stoic demeanor, that sense of calm trickled down to the rest of Clemson’s team. Clemson never flinched down the stretch in big games. The Tigers were down multiple times this year, including in the National Championship, but, Watson was able to calm the troops and orchestrate a victory.

Deshaun’s blend of production, unique ability, and “it” factor make him the best quarterback that ACC football has seen over the past decade.

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