Throughout his career, Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson has earned praise from teammates and opponents alike. Back in 2017 after a Texans gut-punch loss to the Seahawks, the Seahawks' stars couldn't stop talking about the young wizard they just faced. Following the Texans playoff win last year, Bills linebacker Lorenzo Alexander was mic'd up and asked by a reporter what happened.
"Deshaun, man. I knew he was going to do something."
It's not unusual to see the Texans leader heaped in praise but when I heard praise coming from Stanford head coach David Shaw on Twitter on Friday morning on the Middlekauff/Haberman Podcast, I was a bit shocked.
Let me be clear about why. The Pac-12 and the ACC cross paths about as much as I do with vegetables, which is to say not very often. Stanford and Clemson have met just once on a football field and that was nearly a decade before Deshaun was born. But, Coach Shaw and Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney have known each other for a while and our great friends. As such, Coach Shaw visited Clemson's spring practice back in 2015.
Deshaun injured his ACL late in his freshman season and was not able to practice in preparation for the 2015 season. That season Deshaun would eventually lead the Tigers to 14 wins in a row, an Orange Bowl championship and a berth in the national championship game against Alabama. At this point, though, he was sidelined with that knee injury. So, Coach Shaw stood next to him at practice.
"I've never been more impressed with a guy not practicing. Ever." Shaw noted about his time watching the practice with Deshaun. He went on to say that he could easily see why Coach Swinney had such respect for his signal calling leader.
"When you get access to that brain, you see that's a Drew Brees brain, an Andrew Luck brain." said Shaw. Those were just a couple of the quotes about Deshaun and they were just the tip of the iceberg, if you will. Take a listen to the full 1:25 and assess for yourself. Big thanks to John and Guy for allowing me to use that clip here.