Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson has been named the winner of the 2016 Chic Harley Award by the Touchdown Club of Columbus, Ohio. The award has been presented each year since 1955 to the National Player of the Year through the conference championship weekend.
Watson won the Archie Griffin Award last year from the same organization. It is presented to the top college player through the bowl season. Watson will receive the award at the Touchdown Club of Columbus Awards banquet on Feb. 4, 2017.
The native of Gainesville, Georgia who is a junior in eligibility, but will receive his undergraduate degree on Dec. 15, led Clemson to the ACC Championship last Saturday in a 42-35 victory over Virginia Tech. It was the second consecutive year Clemson has won the ACC title, the first time the program has done that in 28 years. He is the first Clemson quarterback to lead the Tigers to back to back conference crowns since Rodney Williams led Clemson to three straight league crowns from 1986-88.
Watson was 23-34 for 288 yards and three touchdowns passing and added a team best 85 yards rushing 0n 17 carries and scored twice against Virginia Tech. He was named the Most Valuable Player of the ACC Championship game for the second consecutive year.
The Tigers rank second in the final College Football Playoff Poll and will face Ohio State in the PlayStation Fiesta Bowl on December 31. It is the second consecutive year Clemson has made the College Football Playoff.
For the season, Watson has completed 329 of 487 passes for 3914 yards and 37 touchdowns. He ranks fourth in the nation in completions, fifth in touchdown passes and eighth in completion percentage and eighth in total offense. His 37 touchdown passes are a Clemson season record.
Watson has finished strong, connecting on 138 of 186 passes for 1586 yards and 15 touchdowns over the last five games. That is a 74 percent completion percentage. He has had 20 touchdowns rushing and passing over the five games and averaged 356.8 total offense yards per game.