Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson showed poise and precision as he powered his team to a 57-14 victory over the Tennessee Titans Sunday. The score marked both the highest point total and the highest margin of victory for the team since its inception in 2002.
Watson earned a reputation for grace under pressure in his Clemson University Tigers’ march toward the College Football Playoff Championship in 2016. If you look beyond the football field, Watson’s history shows he’s still a winner.
He graduated early. Most players who enter the NFL draft after their junior years leave behind the possibility of earning their degrees. Watson took heavy class loads his junior year, including 20 hours of summer school, to graduate early with his degree in communications.
He gives back to the charity that furnished his family’s first house. When Watson was 11 years old, his family moved from a public housing project to a new home provided by the Habitat for Humanity charity. A charitable foundation operated by former NFL running back Warrick Dunn provided furniture for the home, including the bed Watson would sleep in for most of his teen years. Watson would later organize Habitat for Humanity building projects with his Clemson teammates.
He started his first NFL game on his birthday. Watson got his first NFL start Thursday, Sept. 14, on the road against the Cincinnati Bengals. As if starting on the road as a rookie QB wasn’t enough pressure, the game fell on his 22nd birthday. Watson went 15-of-24 for 125 yards and ran for a touchdown in a 13-9 victory.
He’s “good friends” with a former adult film star. Shortly before his first start, Watson received some birthday wishes from an unexpected source: sports mega-fan (and former adult film star) Mia Khalifa. Khalifa released a video from June of the pair playing mini-basketball in her apartment. Both Watson and Khalifa maintain that theirs is a strictly platonic friendship.