Who is the state of Georgia’s top college football prospect for 2014?
One of the top candidates is DeShaun Watson, an electrifying QB from Gainesville High School who committed to Clemson over 10 early football scholarship offers last season as a sophomore.
The 6-foot-3, 195-pound Watson will be on display when Gainesville plays West Forsyth in a game that will be televised at 7:30 p.m. Thursday on WSB-TV 2.2 and Me-TV.
“He’s excellent, he may be the best quarterback I’ve ever seen,” West Forsyth coach Frank Hepler said “I watched him last week against Creekview, and he’s much bigger than I thought he would be. He’s a tremendous talent. “I saw a lot of great quarterbacks down in Florida through my years, and then over the years in Georgia I’ve seen some good ones. DeShaun Watson may be the best we’ve seen. He’s pretty amazing.”
Watson is a dual-threat quarterback who put up Nintendo-like numbers as a sophomore: He passed for 3,251 yards and 41 touchdowns with 6 interceptions, while rushing for 1,073 yards and 16 touchdowns on the way to leading Gainesville to the state semifinals.
“He’s a special, special quarterback,” Gainesville coach Bruce Miller said. “He’s the total package, as far as a quarterback is concerned. He’s got the physical attributes. He’s got the smartness. He’s got the overall understanding of the game. He can run, he can throw and he can even punt – he’s just such a good overall athlete.”
Watson was spotted by Clemson as a freshman, offered before his sophomore season, and committed to the Tigers on signing day last February. He also claims offers from Auburn, Ohio State, Tennessee, USC, Florida, Vanderbilt, UCF and NC State.
Why did he commit so early? “They’re not getting a quarterback in 2013, so there’s a big gap between me and the 2012 quarterback they’ve got. Clemson is close to home, and I like the offense and the atmosphere.”
Where does his Clemson commitment stand? “Right now, it’s probably at 85 percent because I have two more years and anything can change or happen. I want to take some more visits and make sure I made the right decision and 100 percent with Clemson. So I’d say 85 percent with Clemson right now. It would take a lot for a school to change my decision.”
What about UGA and Georgia Tech? Watson said he’s had limited contact with UGA. “There’s a little interest, but it would take a lot for me to let them recruit me.” He said he was thankful for an offer from Georgia Tech but wasn’t interested because “I don’t want to run the Triple Option.”
Watson follows in the footsteps of another Gainesville star at QB, Blake Sims, who signed with Alabama in 2010 and hasn’t been seen much since. How does Watson and Sims compare?
“I knew you would ask me that,” Miller said with a laugh. “Here’s what I tell people all the time: Blake was a better athlete. He was faster and he was a better athlete. Blake can play anywhere on the field at anytime, and I’m surprised they haven’t found a place for him at Alabama to play on a more consistent basis. “I think DeShaun is a better quarterback. He has been with us since the seventh grade and he understand what we’re trying to do on offense. It’s just incredible to watch him at work out there. Clemson loves him, their coaches said he may be one of the top five quarterbacks in the nation next year.”
Top prospects in Thursday game
THIS JUST IN …
FOOTBALL SEASON IS ALMOST HERE
– By Michael Carvell, AJC Recruiting Blog
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