Deshaun Watson to make first start for Clemson

Deshaun Watson will make his first career start for Clemson on Saturday. (AP photo)

Deshaun Watson will make his first career start for Clemson on Saturday. (AP photo)

Dabo Swinney did the right thing by not starting Deshaun Watson in Clemson’s game at Florida State.

He’s doing the right thing by starting him this week.

Swinney said Sunday that the incredibly talented freshman quarterback from Gainesville will be behind center when the Tigers host North Carolina at 7 p.m. Saturday.

“That’s the decision I had to make based on what I saw,” Swinney said on his Sunday conference call, as reported by the Charleston Post and Courier. “Had Cole played, well, like he played the first couple games, or Deshaun didn’t play well when he went in, we’d kind of continue to evaluate. But Deshaun really separated.”

At 1-2 (0-1 in the ACC), Clemson has little chance at winning any championships, so why not start building for the future. And besides, Clemson’s offense has flashed more spark with Watson, instead of senior Cole Stoudt.

Watson has looked amazingly poised in his short career, from throwing a TD pass at Georgia in his first collegiate game to scoring on a short run that gave the Tigers a late lead in their 23-17 overtime loss at FSU.

“True freshman in that environment, he made some big-time plays, and the receivers made some great plays as well,” Swinney said. “(He) made some awesome runs, extended some plays, and I’m really proud of him. He gave us a chance to win the game.”

Watson has completed 70.7 percent of his attempts for 479 yards and four TDs.


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