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Watson giving back, serving others

GREENVILLE, S.C. — When you help somebody, you never know exactly whom you could be helping.

Just ask former NFL and Atlanta Falcons running back Warrick Dunn.

In 2007, Dunn’s charity, partnering with Habitat for Humanity, furnished a home for an 11-year-old boy and his family.

That 11-year-old boy was Deshaun Watson.

Nine and a half years later, Watson is serving the community and helping to provide a better life for others, just like Dunn did for him.

On Tuesday, during third-ranked Clemson’s bye week, Watson and the entire football team and coaching staff came to Greenville to work in the Grace Point neighborhood, assisting with the construction of two houses at Grace Point, building new fencing along the property line, performing landscaping on six other houses and completing other tasks in the community.

The house at 15 Hope Bridge Way, which will be known as The Next Generation house, is being built by Habitat for Humanity of Greenville in recognition of Watson’s path to success.

“You never know who is living in these homes,” Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney said on Tuesday. “Warrick Dunn, when he gave back, the next thing you know a young Deshaun Watson is moving in a home. Now, he’s back giving back to an organization that helped him.”

This marks the ninth straight year the Tigers have participated in a community service project during their open week. They also do a community service project during bowl practice.

“It’s a blessing to bring 120 plus healthy people and give good labor to make a difference in someone’s life,” Swinney said.

In addition, Watson was honored Tuesday as a member of the 2016 Allstate AFCA Good Works Team for his service to Habitat Humanity and the community.

This year is the 25th anniversary of the award, which was established in 1992 to recognize a select group of college football players who have made a commitment to service and enriching the lives of others.

“It’s great just to have that notoriety to be able to show what my community service and serving others can do for others,” Watson said, “and be able to help other families out in need.”

Watson’s mother, Deann, and his aunt, Sonia, were present for the award ceremony.

“Just happy to have them up here with me while I received the award,” Watson said, “and give back because we know what it’s like to have the opportunity to have a Habitat Home and be able to start our own foundation.”

Watson carries a lot of weight as a star quarterback in college football.

He knows that, and he’s happy to use his platform in a positive way.

“I don’t do it for the popularity or just to get it out there in the news, I do it out of the kindness of my heart and to be able to serve others,” Watson said. “I use my platform not just for me and my family, but to help others and inspire people to be able to do things so they can fulfill their dreams and goals.

“That’s my purpose in life. God gave me this platform for a reason, to inspire others and serve others.”

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