It was perhaps the greatest endorsement you'll ever hear a college coach foist upon his star player, and Swinney's logic went beyond praising Watson as an elite performer on Saturdays. Watson was a special player, sure, but Swinney was also taken by his quarterback's maturity, commitment to craft and ability to create a positive culture for Clemson's football program.
Six months later, Watson is earning rave reviews as the starting quarterback of the Houston Texans. The rookie made a collection of impressive plays in the Texans' near upset of the Patriots last weekend, and a recent act of charity has reinforced the notion that the Texans are in business with a different type of young star.
This week, Watson split up his first game check and turned over his earnings to three Texans employees who work in the team cafeteria and lost everything in Hurricane Harvey. The team captured the delivery of the surprise gifts, and it's as touching as you'd imagine.
"Anything else y'all need, I'm always here to help," Watson said.
We'll see if Watson ever fulfills his former coach's promise of being a transcendent Jordan-like talent on the football field. But the Texans seem to be in very good hands with Watson as a new face of the franchise.