Clemson welcomes back Watson, loses QB Israel

clemfoot-4Clemson welcomed back ACC Preseason Player of the Year Deshaun Watson to the field for the first practice session of the fall season, but the Tigers lost one of the candidates for his backup.

Freshman quarterback Tucker Israel of Orlando, Fla., suffered a broken foot during a drill and should be out a number of weeks.

“He broke the fifth metatarsal bone in a foot early in the practice,” said Swinney.  “He will be out at least four weeks. It is the same injury Garry Peters had last year when he was out a month during the 2013 season. “

Israel enrolled at Clemson in January and threw for 110 yards in the spring game, making him a contender to serve as backup to starter Deshaun Watson. An honorable mention Parade All-American, Israel broke Tim Tebow’s Florida state record for career touchdown passes with 162 and passed for over 15,000 yards.

Watson was back on the practice fields in full go mode for the first time since November 29, and the reviews from Coach Dabo Swinney and Watson himself were good.

Playing with a torn ACL, Watson led Clemson to a victory over South Carolina in the regular season finale last year. He had surgery shortly thereafter and has been in rehabilitation mode ever since. He joined the team for workouts in late June, but Tuesday’s first practice of the season was his first full scale workout since the South Carolina game.

“He was outstanding,” said Swinney with a smile after practice. “He looked like he had just played a game last week. Deshaun has a great work ethic and put in a lot of time over the spring and summer. He is one of the most disciplined and prepared players I have seen, and it was great to have him back at practice today.”

Clemson continues practice this week through Saturday before taking a day off on Sunday.

Photo courtesy of CU Athletics

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