- 2× Davey O’Brien Award (2015, 2016)
- 2× Manning Award (2015, 2016)
- Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award (2016)
- ACC Player of the Year (2015)
- ACC Athlete of the Year (2016)
- ACC Offensive Player of the Year (2015)
In his first career start, midway through his true-freshman season, Deshaun Watson torched North Carolina’s defense for 435 yards and 6 touchdowns. Between a broken bone in his hand, an LCL strain, and eventually a torn ACL, he’d only start two more games in what was a bumpy first year of college.
As a sophomore, he led Clemson to a 12-0 regular season record, an ACC Championship win over UNC, then came just short of upsetting heavily favored Alabama in a 45-40 shootout for the National Championship. He threw for 4,109 yards and ran for 1,105, accounting for 47 total touchdowns to finish third in the Heisman voting.
After leading Clemson to a 13-1 record while compiling 4,593 yards in the air and 629 on the ground his junior year, the season culminated in another showdown with Nick Saban and the Crimson Tide. Watson threw for 420 yards and three touchdowns against the best defense in the country, the last coming with seconds left in the game to give Clemson a four-point lead and a national championship.
Bonus Fact: Watson set and still holds the Georgia high school records for total yards (17,134) and touchdowns (218).