ATLANTA — Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson has hundreds of thousands of fans, but his biggest fan might reside in Tuscaloosa, Ala.
Alabama head coach Nick Saban, who recruited Watson when he played at nearby Gainesville (Ga.) High School, said if he had input into the Heisman Trophy process, he would give it to the Tigers’ star quarterback.
“I don’t have any input either, but after playing them last year, I’ll vote for him, and I don’t have a vote,” the Crimson Tide’s head coach said.
Saban saw firsthand how good of a quarterback Watson is when he is at his best. Watson, who won the Davey O’Brien Award for a second straight year as the nation’s best quarterback on Thursday, completed 30 of 47 passes for 405 yards and four touchdowns. He also rushed for 73 yards against the Alabama defense, which came into the national championship game with the best defense in the country.
“I think he is a fantastic competitor and a great player and played a fantastic game against us. I don’t get to see him all that much during the season, but I have a tremendous amount of respect for the guy. He did a fabulous job,” Saban said.
Watson and Saban, along with Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney, were back in Atlanta on Thursday night for two different events at the College Football Hall of Fame. Watson was up for the Davey O’Brien Award as the nation’s best quarterback, while Saban was in town for the College Football Playoff Coaches Press Conference, which was held before the Home Depot College Football Awards Show on ESPN.