Clemson-bound Deshaun Watson closing in on Georgia state passing record

The Clemson Sports Blog

Football recruiting - Deshaun Watson

Photo by Mark Crammer

Football recruiting - Deshaun Watson

With just an average performance, sometime in the second half of Gainesville (Ga.) High's Class 5-A state semifinal game against Whitewater on Friday, Deshaun Watson will become the leading passer in Georgia high school football history.

He still has another season to play before he arrives at Clemson.

Of course, 'average' for Watson isn't your run of the mill, everyday average.

With 3,480 passing yards this season and 8,819 in his career, Watson needs just another 224 yards to break the state record of 9,052 held by Metter High's Zach Stanford.

Last Friday, Watson gave a typical performance while leading his Red Elephants past Harris County 64-13: 31-of-39 passing for 427 yards and five touchdowns, with 13 carries for 145 yards rushing and two scores tacked on for good measure.

Gainesville, 10-3, has advanced to the state semifinals as a first-time Class 5-A team after reaching the state semifinals a year ago at the 3-A level.

The Watson-led offense has been almost unstoppable so far in the playoffs, in which they've beaten Rome 41-14, Kell 61-42, and Harris County. In his last two games, Watson has accounted for 15 touchdowns.

This season, Watson has thrown 46 touchdown passes and has run for another 19 scores.

Gainesville coach Bruce Miller has surrounded Watson with playmakers, and has watched nature take its course.

“A large part of what we’ve done has been Deshaun,” Miller told the (Columbus, Ga.) Ledger-Enquirer recently. "It’s the second year in a row he’s passed for 3,000 and run for 1,000. He’s done a great job spreading the ball around to different guys.”

Four different Gainesville receivers have caught at least 30 passes this season.

“In this offense, I have weapons all over the field,” Watson told the Ledger-Enquirer. “I have four receivers that I can count on. I have a lot of guys that I can count on. I have two very good running backs who can run and catch the ball. The offensive line works really hard every practice to protect me. I’m just blessed to have the teammates that I have.”

With a victory at Whitewater (Fayetteville, Ga.) on Friday, Watson and his Gainesville teammates will play for the state championship in the Georgia Dome on Friday, Dec. 14, at 8:30 p.m. against the winner of the Ware County-Northside (Warner-Robins) semifinal.

Whitewater, 12-1, will be making its first state semifinal appearance, and is coming off a 24-3 quarterfinal victory over Allatoona.

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