When he was a freshman, Deshaun Watson enjoyed everything that came with being the quarterback for the Clemson Tigers, including his weekly visits with the media.
“I kind of came here and enjoyed it. I was excited to be here,” he said on Monday.
However, with his and the Tigers’ own success last season, Watson was not as excited to see the media anymore. In fact, he became a burden to him. He lost interest. He got tired of all the questions, especially when they were all the same.
He was getting pulled left and right, and suddenly the fun was gone.
“As the season went on last year, it kind of got old and dull. With so much media, it just kind of (wore) down on me,” Watson said.
When the preseason started in July, the questions started again. They were all about Watson’s Heisman campaign, his weapons on offense and if the Tigers can make it back to the College Football Playoffs. In Watson’s eyes, every press session seemed the same. It was getting dull. It was getting boring.
And because of it, Watson he was getting a bad attitude. And it all came to a head following the Tigers’ victory over Troy this weekend.
For a second straight Saturday, Watson and the offense did not perform well. Watson threw two interceptions and completed just 52 percent of the 53 passes he threw, while the offense was full of mistakes, fumbles and dropped passes.
When asked afterwards was it the worst game of his Clemson career, Watson, for the first time in his career snapped back at the press.
“Things are going to be messed up. Everything is not going to be perfect. Everybody, especially you guys in the media, wants to see us score fifty and sixty points and everybody wants it now,” he said in response.
After he said it, Watson knew he made a mistake. He got lost in the moment. It wasn’t him and he did not want people to think that was him.
“I had a reality check this weekend with myself,” he said.
So on his own, Watson showed his humility and apologized. He did not do it just because of what happened on Saturday. He apologized for his attitude, period.
“Ya’ll can feed off the negative energy I bring to the media (sessions),” he said. “I get it so much it just kind of gets dull on me. It’s kind of, ‘Oh, I have to do this media (stuff) again.’ It is the same questions.
“I just really apologize to all of you guys and all of the fans. Really, I just need to enjoy it. This opportunity is really very rare. Next year, who knows what is going to happen. I really just want to apologize to ya’ll and bring that enjoyment back because it is a once and a lifetime opportunity.”
Watson said this was something he had to do because he needed to bring some fun back in everything he does. If he is having fun with the media, then he is going to have fun on Saturdays.
“It’s about having fun and enjoying the opportunity that we have. It is going by so fast. It’s not about my play … it’s more about having the moment and this opportunity with you guys. It is a blessing and it is a privilege to be in this position and to have people that want to talk to me. To have people that want to hear my story and what is going on because it can easily be on the flip side and no one will want to talk to me and no one will respect me one-on-one and no one will be in the stands wearing my jersey.
“It is a blessing and it just kind of got away from me for a little bit with all the attention I have gotten. So I just have to find myself and be the Deshaun Watson I always will be.”
—Photo Credit: Joshua S. Kelly-USA TODAY Sports