By Will Vandervort.
As expected, Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney officially announced Thursday morning that quarterback Deshaun Watson will undergo surgery on Friday and will not play in the Russell Athletic Bowl on Dec. 29 against Oklahoma.
Swinney said following the 17th-ranked Tigers win over South Carolina on Nov. 29 that Watson played with a torn ACL. Despite his limited mobility, the freshman threw for 269 yards on 14 of 19 passing while accounting for four of the Tigers’ five touchdowns in the 35-17 victory over the Gamecocks.
Swinney at the time, said, Watson was going to play in the bowl game, too. But, obviously, things changed.
“We made the decision to go ahead with surgery at this time after conversations with Deshaun, his family, doctors and athletic trainers,” Swinney said in a statement released by the Clemson Athletic Department Communications staff. “While we were all hopeful Deshaun could play without missing any further time preparing for the 2015 season, the three-week delay would have set us back so we will proceed now that his academic obligations are complete.
“We’re excited to play a great Oklahoma program, and I hope all our fans help us turn Orlando Solid Orange.”
Watson finished his freshman season with a 188.6 passer rating, one of just three quarterbacks in the country to have a passer rating over 180.0 this year. He threw for 1,466 yards and 14 touchdowns, while completing 67.9 percent of his 137 passes. He threw just two interceptions and his yards-per-attempt average was 10.7.