GREENVILLE, S.C. — Ever since he started to throw the football at the age of six years old, Deshaun Watson always dreamed about hearing his name called out in the NFL Draft.
Next Thursday in Philadelphia, Pa., that dream will become a reality for the former Clemson quarterback as he is one of 27 players that will be participating in the NFL Draft Experience.
“That is one of the reasons I decided to go to Philly,” Watson said at Greenville’s Hyatt Regency on Thursday. “I always dreamed of having my named called out and going across the stage to receive that jersey. I have always pictured what it would be like to get selected into the National Football League.”
Watson was in Greenville on Thursday to receive his Player of the Year Award from the South Carolina Football Hall of Fame. It was the second straight year Watson won the award. Former Clemson and Pittsburgh Steelers’ linebacker Levon Kirkland was also honored as he was inducted into the hall of fame.
Watson said the draft process has been a different experience. He has spent the last few weeks interviewing with several teams and working out for them.
“This past week has been all about visits and workouts,” he said. “I’m trying to enjoy as much family time as I can. As for my emotions, I’m just excited about next week. I’m just taking it one day at a time.”
Watson said the draft kind of reminds him of what it was like on the award circuit when he was a two-time Heisman Trophy Finalist as well as a two-time winner of the Davey O’Brien Award as the nation’s best quarterback.
“This is pretty similar because it is something that I really cannot control,” he said. “I have to wait and see what happens.”
If he is not in Clemson or working out for an NFL team, Watson has been in his hometown of Gainesville, Ga., where he is surrounded by friends and family.
“They are just living this experience through me,” he said. “They are all supporting me and all. They are happy for me. They are in the same boat as me. They are ready to see where I go so they can go buy that jersey and start supporting me.”