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Deshaun Watson gets Gainesville street named after him

POSTED: February 7, 2017 7:10 p.m.
/Associated Press

Gainesville High graduate Deshaun Watson, who led Clemson to the 2016 national championship, now has his name on a road on his high school's campus. Touchdown Drive has been renamed Deshaun Watson Way.

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Hometown hero Deshaun Watson now has a road named after him.

Gainesville City Council voted Tuesday night to rename Touchdown Drive outside Gainesville High School to Deshaun Watson Way.

The 180-foot road leads into the high school campus from Pearl Nix Parkway and connects to Century Place, which runs past the school’s football practice field.

Watson, the hometown hero who led the Clemson Tigers football team to the national championship in a thrilling last-second win over Alabama in January, is beloved in Gainesville.

He was a two-time Heisman Trophy finalist after leading the Red Elephants to the 2012 Georgia state championship as a junior in high school.

Watson has said he will enter the NFL Draft this spring.

Gainesville school board member Sammy Smith made the proposal to change the road’s name on behalf of his public relations firm Rainmaker & Associates.

“Certainly, (Watson) has brought much attention and credit to this city, high school, his family and friends,” Smith told the council. “Amazingly, the credit is centered around his sports career and success, and, in my opinion, his life story exceeds his sports story.”

When he was in elementary school, Watson brought home information about Habitat for Humanity of Hall County from a church Halloween party. He gave it to his mother, DeAnn, who became inspired to improve her family’s life, and began the application process for a Habitat home.

In 2015, he won Habitat for Humanity International’s inaugural Next Generation Award.

“I’m new to the area, but obviously I understand the impact that Deshaun has had on the community,” Gainesville High School principal Tom Smith said.

Watson is the second Gainesville football player to have a road near the school named after him, the other being 1963 Heisman Trophy runner-up Billy Lothridge.

Signs for both athletes will have red backgrounds with white lettering, the council agreed.



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