Clemson’s Watson keeping Tigers focused on followup

clemfoot-watsonClemson football faithful will carry memories of last year’s national title game run, but reigning ACC Player of the Year Deshaun Watson said it is important for the Tigers to have short memories as they prepare for 2015.

“Just really, it’s simple,” the rising junior quarterback said at Friday ACC Football Kickoff. “Each and every year is a different year. We have to start over. Last year’s wins, touchdowns or stops aren’t going to do anything for us this year. We know we have a target on us and we have to go 10 times harder to get where we want to go this year than we did last year. We just got to take it one day at a time and make sure everybody is on the same page. Know and understand that nothing is going to be given to us, we have to go earn it.”

And Watson, who expects to earn his Clemson undergraduate degree in just 2 ½ years, has set goals beyond ACC Championships, another 14-win season or a return trip to the College Football Playoff. It goes beyond duplicating the eye-opening numbers he amassed last season, when he became the first player in FBS history to throw for 4,000 yards and rush for another 1,000 in the same season.

“It’s starting off with being a good citizen off the field, being a good student in the classroom, watching film, working out, taking care of your body, eating right, little things like that,” Watson said. “If you take care of the little things, the big things are going to take care of themselves.”

Watson reeled off the litany mainly for the benefit of media in attendance at this year’s ACC Kickoff. His teammates likely don’t need to be reminded.

“The standard is never going to change,” Watson said. “The best is the standard. Coach (Dabo) Swinney has been preaching that for the past eight years. This is no surprise for us. This is what we’ve been building for, especially for the guys that have been here from the start – guys like Tajh Boyd, Sammy Watkins, C.J. Spiller.  All these guys been building up for this moment right here.

“It’s a privilege to be able to take the torch and run with it.”

Photo courtesy of CU Athletics

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