Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson revealed that he once considered attending Ohio State, but resisted overtures from Buckeyes coach Urban Meyer and remained committed to the Tigers.
Deshaun Watson arguably is the most successful quarterback in Clemson history and is preparing to lead the Tigers into their second straight College Football Playoff appearance.
But according to Watson, he nearly had a change of heart before he even stepped foot on campus.
Watson spoke to reporters Wednesday ahead of Saturday’s Fiesta Bowl and said Urban Meyer nearly lured him to Ohio State before he ultimately decided to remain committed to Clemson.
“Yeah, you know Ohio State — they were actually my second choice,” Watson said. “I grew up an Urban Meyer fan. I loved the way he coached, loved the way he did things …. Florida was the school I was going to. And then he left Florida and then became the coach at Ohio State and he came down to visit.
“My eyes was wide open because he was the coach I dreamed of watching. And just being able to meet him – but I was already committed to Clemson. And I was going to stay true to my word. And I just fell in love with the Tigers and wanted to stay down south.”
It turned out to be a good decision for Watson, who has led Clemson to the College Football Playoff in his two full seasons as a starter. He was a Heisman Trophy finalist both years and, depending on the outcome, could likely play his final collegiate game against the Buckeyes in the Fiesta Bowl before heading off to the NFL.
Watson might already have a national championship ring had he chosen to attend Ohio State, though. The Buckeyes won the inaugural College Football Playoff in 2014 during Watson’s freshman year. He would’ve been a part of a crowded quarterback situation that saw Braxton Miller suffer a season-ending injury during camp and J.T. Barrett emerge as a star before Cardale Jones won the Buckeyes’ final three games in place of an injured Barrett.
Now Watson has a chance to get closer to his own national championship by beating the school – and coach – that wanted him badly.
“It was nothing against Ohio State,” Watson said. “They were my second choice if I wouldn’t have went to Clemson.”