Former ball boy Deshaun Watson pulling for Falcons in Super Bowl LI
Former Clemson Tigers quarterback and reigning national champion Deshaun Watson is a Gainesville, Ga., native, so it’s not surprising he’s pulling for his home-state Atlanta Falcons to win Super Bowl LI, not the New England Patriots.
And if there ever was any doubt, however unlikely, Watson only had to look to his formative years in high school to clinch it.
Why? Because Watson spent several years of high school serving as Matt Ryan’s ball boy during Falcons training camp. In fact, for ever summer from ninth through twelfth grade, Watson got an up close and personal view of Ryan and how the quarterback went about his business.
“Always the nicest guy,” Watson said of Ryan, via Shutdown Corner. “Treated everyone well, with respect. I’m happy for him to be in a Super Bowl and have a chance to win it.”
Ryan similarly holds Watson in high regard as well. After Watson led the Tigers to a 35-31 victory over the Alabama Crimson Tide for the national championship last month, Ryan had nothing but good things to say about his former ball boy.
“Yeah, for sure, I remember Deshaun being here,” Ryan said in January, via ESPN. “He’s a great kid. It was impressive. I was pulling for him this entire season. Last night, for sure, he played extremely well. So I’m really happy for him.
“He didn’t say much when he was here. He was quiet. He kind of went about his business. He was good for me, though, because he saved my arm a little bit. He would throw to our wideouts during camp and give me a little bit of a rest. I always appreciated that from him.”
Soon enough, it will be Watson’s turn to perhaps serve as mentor to a young high school football player at training camp, as he’s expected by many to be a high draft pick in the 2017 NFL Draft.
But for now? He’s just a fan.
“Hopefully they can pull it out, bring it home,” Watson said of his hometown Falcons.