When Deshaun Watson came to Clemson in the winter of 2014, he came in following the Tigers’ 2014 Orange Bowl win over Ohio State.
Clemson had just completed its second straight 11-win season and finished No. 7 in the final Associated Press Poll, its highest final ranking since finishing No. 1 in 1981. It was obvious the Clemson Football was on an upward trajectory.
“As a freshman, that’s the reason why I came in. The program was going north, and it is still going north,” Watson said Saturday as he hosted his football camp at the Poe Indoor Practice Facility in Clemson. “Yeah, each and every year it is getting better.”
Injuries set Watson and the Tigers back a little bit in 2014, but they still won 10 games for a fourth straight year and handed Oklahoma its worst bowl loss in history. That season set the stage for the next four years.
Counting the last three games of 2014, Clemson has won 58 games with only four losses. The Tigers have made the College Football Playoff four straight years, won four straight ACC Championships, played in three national championship games and has won two national championships.
It is not only the greatest run in Clemson history, it’s the greatest four-year run in college football history too. The Tigers capped it last year by beating Alabama, 44-16, to win the program its third national title and finish as the first 15-0 team in college football since 1897.
The Tigers won 13 of those 15 games by 20 or more points, including 10-straight to close the year.
“It is a powerhouse. I feel like even when I was a freshman it was still a powerhouse,” said Watson, who led Clemson to its first national championship in 35 years in 2016. “There were just some things we had to clean up and some little details to lock in on and (Dabo) Swinney got it to where he always wanted it to be.”