Deshaun Watson opened to Seth Davis on the influence of his mom, and how her battle against cancer has affected him.
On the field, Deshaun Watson’s prowess is undeniable. He is widely regarded as college football’s best quarterback, is expected to be a Heisman finalist (again), and will be captaining one of the nation’s top teams this upcoming season. Come April, he could also be the No. 1 overall pick in the NFL Draft. When all is said and done, Watson very well may go down as the most accomplished football player in Clemson Tigers history.
While his physical attributes are plainly evident, there’s a certain mental fortitude that sets Watson apart. He’s a tough-nosed player who, as a true freshman in 2014, started against and defeated rival South Carolina while playing with a torn ACL. To understand where that type of resolve comes from, look no further than his mother Deann.
“She’s a hard-working mom,” Watson said during an interview on Campus Insiders’ Seth Davis Show. “She’s been that way her whole life …. That’s just the type of woman she is.”
When Watson was in high school, his mother, afflicted with what she thought was strep throat, was diagnosed with tongue cancer.
“It was tongue cancer. She thought she had strep throat for a long period of time. She went to get it check out and was diagnosed. It was very hard at first. We didn’t know what to expect. It was … weird for the first couple of months. She was gone for 6-8 months and my whole sophomore year. She was at Emory Hospital down in Atlanta. I saw her two or three times out of those 6-8 months, because she didn’t want us to see her during the process.”
Deann went through chemotherapy and radiation, had a large section of her tongue removed, and then underwent reconstructive surgery to rebuild the tongue. Thankfully, the treatment was successful and Watson’s mother, to this day, maintains a clean bill of health.
“It took a whole year for us to really understand … ever since it’s been pretty good. She’s cancer free and living life to the fullest. Now her speech is good. She’s back to normal, and I wanna thank the doctor who did her surgery.”
It takes a strong-willed individual to go through such an invasive process, all while trusting and having faith that her family would be brave in her absence. It’s that exact resolve that has helped mold Watson into the man now starring on Saturdays in Death Valley.
“That’s why I adore her. I’m a mama’s boy.”