The Heisman finalists were announced Monday night after a multitude of conference games were played along with the determination of the college playoffs. Alabama’s Derrick Henry, Clemson’s Deshaun Watson, and Stanford’s Christian McCaffrey were voted as the three players that will head to New York City Saturday night.
It’s time to breakdown the players individually, and see why they have been chosen as Heisman finalists.
This is the third part of the three-part series, covering undefeated Clemson’s star quarterback, Deshaun Watson.
Deshaun Watson, Sophomore, Clemson:
3,512 pass yards, 30 passing touchdowns, 11 interceptions, 887 rushing yards, 11 rushing touchdowns
Clemson has been carried on the back of Quarterback Deshaun Watson. He is a dual threat with his pocket passing skill and rushing ability. The sophomore has led Clemson to an undefeated season and the first seed in the college playoffs.
Watson is the only quarterback in the country who has thrown for more than 3,000 yards and rushed for more than 750 yards. He also has the third highest completion rating in the country at 69.5 percent. That is a true testament to his dual threat style because most quarterbacks who run the ball are very inaccurate. Watson is able to use his leg to get a first down whenever he needs too and still be very accurate to his receivers.
Watson has registered an amazing year coming off an ACL tear his freshman year. In only 10 months, Watson has become one of the best players in the country.
Watson ranks 9th in passing touchdowns, 16th in passing yards, 8th in rushing touchdowns, and 3rd in rushing yards for a quarterback.
Watson season stats are very similar to many quarterbacks, especially TCU’s Trevone Boykin. The main difference, Watson’s team is undefeated and he’s faced much tougher pass defenses.
Watson has faced an absurd 10 teams that all ranked in the top 50 for passing defense. He played his best against Boston College, Wake Forest, South Carolina, and North Carolina. He threw an average of 333 yards and ran for an average of 96 yards and also accumulated nine passing and seven rushing touchdowns during the four games.
With the last two Heisman profiles the player’s statistics is what placed them into the Heisman competition whether it was having the most rushing yards or most all-purpose yards. Watson has not posted the best numbers out of any quarterback but has been clutch when it mattered most.
When the game has been on the line, Watson is either completing a deep ball or rushing for the first down. He has a fourth quarter completion rate of 75 percent, which ranks sixth in the FBS.
One of the biggest games for Clemson this year was against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. Watson has a poor outing throwing the ball, as he was 10-of-21 with 84 yards. That is usually a terrible game for a quarterback. What separates Watson is that when he is not performing well throwing the ball, he uses his feet to gain yards. He rushed for 93 yards and one touchdown against Notre Dame to win 24-22.
In the ACC championship against No. 10 North Carolina Watson played the game of his life. He threw for 289 yards with three touchdowns, along with 131 yards rushing and two touchdowns to lead Clemson to a 45-37 victory.
Watson has been one of the best quarterbacks in the country with his ability to throw the ball accurately and run for yards and touchdowns. He has carried Clemson through an undefeated season and the number one spot in college football. Clemson is the only team left in the country that is undefeated.
It can be stated that Stanford and Alabama could have potentially won the same against of games if they didn’t have Henry or McCaffrey but the same cannot be said for Clemson. There is little chance that Clemson is undefeated if Watson never played for them. That is why he is so important as a quarterback and a Heisman candidate.
Most of the recent Heisman winners have all been dual threat quarterbacks, which will help Watson’s chances of winning the trophy.
Watson has a strong case to be the next Heisman Trophy winner as he’s been clutch when it’s mattered most. Everybody will see during the playoffs why he deserves the accolades he is receiving.