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Deshaun Watson: I wanted to play for Urban Meyer at UF

Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson, arriving with his team Monday in Phoenix for the Fiesta Bowl, said he would've attended Florida had Urban Meyer remained Gators coach.

AP photo

Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson, arriving with his team Monday in Phoenix for the Fiesta Bowl, said he would've attended Florida had Urban Meyer remained Gators coach.

28

December

Here's a revelation that might elicit a wince or two across the University of Florida fan base: Deshaun Watson originally wanted to be a Gator.

The Clemson junior and two-time Heisman finalist acknowledged Wednesday he grew up a fan of Ohio State coach Urban Meyer -- whom he'll face Saturday in the Fiesta Bowl -- and suggested he would've signed with UF had Meyer remained in Gainesville.

"I grew up an Urban Meyer fan. I loved the way he coached, loved the way he did things. I was a big Tim Tebow fan," Watson told reporters during a Fiesta Bowl press conference Wednesday.

"So all growing up...Florida was the school I was going to."

Meyer bolted UF following the 2010 season, and surfaced at Ohio State in 2012, shortly after Watson had completed his sophomore season at Gainesville (Ga.) High.

Meyer still paid Watson a visit upon becoming Buckeyes coach, but "I was already committed to Clemson, and I was going to stay true to my word," Watson said. "And I just fell in love with the Tigers and wanted to stay down South."

The Gators' loss has become part of Tigers lore. Watson has won 30 of his 33 starts at Clemson, twice has won the Davey O'Brien Award, and twice has led Clemson to the College Football Playoff.

Meantime, Florida has used six starting quarterbacks since 2014.

[Last modified: Wednesday, December 28, 2016 10:40pm]

    

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