Deshaun Watson’s fan base continues to grow by the minute.
Gainesville High fans are becoming Clemson fans, and Clemson fans could not be happier to have the Gainesville grad leading them to the cusp of a national championship, something they have not experienced since 1981.
Some of Watson’s fans gathered together Monday night at the Buffalo Wild Wings restaurant in Gainesville for a watch party ahead of the College Football Playoff title game.
“He’s always been really determined and consistent on being good and winning games,” said Caleb Hayman, a former Gainesville High teammate. “I’m not surprised he’s where he’s at. He’s definitely earned it.”
Caleb’s mother, Monica Hayman was a counselor at Watson’s middle school and attended church with him at Free Chapel.
“He was kind of low-key, quiet, very reserved,” Monica said. “We want the best for him. Take it all the way to the top.”
Betsy Johnson, a mother of two Flowery Branch High graduates, said she was not a fan of Watson’s in high school.
“It was hard then because we played against him,” Johnson said. “I didn’t like him then. We still hate Gainesville.”
But not Watson. Decked out in Clemson orange, Johnson couldn’t help singing his praise.
“He’s a good kid,” said Johnson, whose daughter currently attends Clemson. “My ex-husband and my son always go to spring practice and see him. They said Deshaun is so well-mannered and so nice and just so ‘Yes sir, no sir,’ and just a good kid. I love the fact that he gives back to the community and everything. I’m proud of him.”
Brent Kelly, a Gainesville High freshman, said Gainesville has been abuzz with excitement all week, with Watson playing a central role for the top-ranked Tigers.
“Everybody’s supporting him, wearing Clemson shirts,” said Kelly. “All his fans are giving back.”
“Deshaun’s a celebrity now man,” said Walt Porter, a recent Clemson graduate. “He’s definitely up there for sure.”