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Gainesville's Watson named Gatorade Georgia Football Player of the Year

POSTED: December 5, 2013 8:27 p.m.
Scott Rogers/The Times

Gainesville High quarterback Deshaun Watson stiff arms a South Paulding defender during a 51-12 win in the second round of the state playoffs on Nov. 22 at City Park Stadium.

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Gainesville High quarterback Deshaun Watson was named the 2013-2014 Gatorade Georgia Football Player of the Year, according to an announcement made Thursday by The Gatorade Company, in collaboration with USA TODAY High School Sports.

Watson was selected for his outstanding athletic excellence, as well as academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the field.

The four-year starter for the Red Elephants is the state’s all-time leading passer with 12,862 yards, which includes 154 touchdowns and another 4,016 career rushing yards. This season, the Clemson University commit has passed for 3,560 yards and 46 touchdowns while rushing for 1,016 yards and 13 scores.

Watson has also excelled in basketball, helping the Red Elephants reach the Class AAAAA state finals last season.

In the classroom, Watson has a 3.48 grade point average. He also served as an intern for the Hall County Board of Commissioners and has helped raise awareness for victims of cancer and cerebral palsy.

Watson is a finalist for the 29th Gatorade National Football Player of the Year, which will be announced next week. Previous state award winners that went on to NFL careers are Mark Sanchez, Wes Welker, Terrell Suggs, Anquan Boldin and Jerome Bettis.

The Gatorade Player of the Year program annually recognizes one winner in the District of Columbia and each of the 50 states that sanction high school football, girls volleyball, boys and girls cross country, boys and girls basketball, boys and girls soccer, baseball, softball, and boys and girls track and field.

A National Player of the Year is awarded in each sport. The selection process is administered by the Gatorade high school sports leadership team in partnership with USA TODAY High School Sports, which work with top sport-specific experts and a media advisory board of accomplished, veteran prep sports journalists to determine the state winners in each sport.


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