clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Deshaun Watson on missing the Heisman: Guess I should’ve lost more games

Lamar Jackson was the deserving Heisman winner, but Watson finished as the season’s defining player.

Heisman Ceremony
2016 Heisman finalists Dede Westbrook, Watson, Jabrill Peppers, Baker Mayfield, and Lamar Jackson
Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

Deshaun Watson should've won the Heisman in 2015. Derrick Henry's win wasn't an injustice, but the Clemson Tigers never would've made a Playoff run without Watson. Hard to say the same about Bama and Henry.

Lamar Jackson was the right choice last season, though if it was handed out after the season, Watson would've taken it.

The greatest Clemson player ever leaves with a national title, all sorts of individual awards, a potential top-10 NFL draft contract, and two top-three Heisman finishes. Though Jackson put up tons of highlights and touchdowns, mostly against overwhelmed competition like Charlotte and Florida State, it's still jarring to try and think of 2016 as belonging to anybody but Watson.

On ESPN's QB sit-down show, Jon Gruden went through some of Watson's awards, including one that involves off-field achievement (Watson has followed Warrick Dunn into work with Habitat for Humanity), and asked the QB what more he could've done to win the big one.

"When you beat Ohio State like you beat 'em, as the starting quarterback, and you beat Notre Dame in the rain — and Notre Dame was a heck of a team two years ago — you beat Oklahoma, great team, you beat Florida State in Tallahassee in the two-minute drill; I'm just curious. Does it tick you off? How can you not win the Heisman with that body of work? Even Alabama, you got them too."

Gruden's including a bunch of wins that didn't impact either Heisman race, seeing as they were either Playoff games or spread across two seasons. But we know what he meant.

"What do you gotta do to win that Heisman?" Gruden asked.

"Last year, I guess lose a couple games, and then win it?" Watson laughed. Jackson's team lost to Watson's team close, got blown out at Houston, and fell to rival Kentucky. However, Jackson finished with bigger numbers, and it's quite arguable that he outdueled Watson in Clemson.

"I just kinda keep it in the back of my mind. Like Coach Swinney said, I didn't miss out on the Heisman," he said. "They missed out on me."

They really oughta hand that trophy out after bowl season. But Jackson deserved it when it was handed out, Watson got the trophy that matters more, and all is well.

More college football