Deshaun Watson put pen to paper Thursday, taking one of his final steps toward a long-awaited career at Clemson. The 6'3", 200-pound quarterback signed his financial agreement papers with the university at a high school ceremony, according to Scout.com writer Hale McGranahan.
The Gainesville High School (Ga.) star intends to arrive on campus in January and follows suit with a new NCAA legislative rule that allows schools to award financial aid to players who plan to graduate early and enroll mid-year. The signing ceremony was a long time coming for Watson, who committed to the Tigers during his sophomore year.
“Deshaun’s one of those kinds, he’s been good for so long that you have to look for small improvements,” Gainesville coach Bruce Miller told McGranahan. “Nothing just jumps out at you, but his reading of the defenses this year, his command of the game on the field has gotten better and better.”
The 4-star prospect garnered heavy national interest, fielding offers from Georgia, Ohio State, Oregon and Alabama. He is ranked the country's No. 1 dual-threat quarterback and No. 43 overall prospect by 247Sports.
With Clemson quarterback Tajh Boyd in his final year of collegiate eligibility, there's an opportunity for Watson to step in and compete for the starting position. The Tigers' coaching staff has a two-year relationship with the passer, so there is certainly familiarity present.
Watson will be on hand for spring practice, able to get an early start on learning the nuance of a larger playbook and grow acclimated with his new receivers. He'll wrap up his high school career as the most accomplished quarterback in state history.
He set a new Georgia record for career passing yards during his junior season. Watson is in the final stages of a scintillating senior season, compiling nearly 3,500 total yards and 46 touchdowns, per Scout.com.
He is the highest-rated player in Clemson's 2014 recruiting class, which features 17 commits. The class is ranked 14th nationally by 247Sports.