Posted: Wednesday, August 21st 2013 at 3:22pm
Watson coming out of 'crazy' summer with focus, determination (Video)
By Morgan Lee Editor
Gainesville quarterback Deshaun Watson prepares to launch a pass during last week's preseason scrimmage against Grayson in Gainesville. / photo: David Weikel
GAINESVILLE -- Deshaun Watson hasn't thought much about it, but he knows it's coming.
After 41 games, three state records and one state championship, the highly-touted Gainesville High quarterback is set to embark on his final high school campaign.
Not that Watson is actively avoiding reminiscences or daydreams -- he simply he hasn't had much time for them.
Rather the Clemson-bound signal caller spent the summer crisscrossing the nation, mingling with and learning from fellow gridiron standouts and coaches and concentrating on making himself the best quarterback he can be.
Earlier this week, Access North Georgia.com sports editor Morgan Lee caught up with Watson and Gainesville coach Bruce Miller to talk about Watson's big summer and his preparations for his final varsity season. To watch a video feature about Watson, press "play" below.
According to Gainesville High head coach Bruce Miller it is that driving will that has helped turn unlimited potential -- which was first showcased at the varsity level on Sept. 27, 2010 against powerhouse Buford -- into the dynamic playmaker that Watson has become.
"What a lot of people do not understand about Deshaun is that he's a great kid on top of being a great player, and he's so coachable," Miller said. "He's a great example to our young players. He's one of the top 10 quarterbacks in the country and he's so coachable, and he wants to get better every day. That's why greatness is in front of him, because he doesn't ever get satisfied."
Watson certainly had reason to work this summer, competing with and against fellow quarterbacks ranked as the best in the nation at the Elite 11 camp in Beaverton, Ore., where he pushed himself to the physical limit. Yet Watson also discovered at the camp that the analytical and technical approach that Red Elephants coaches have immersed him in prepared him well.
"A lot of things that coach Miller and (quarterbacks) coach (Michael) Perry have been teaching me the past few years are geared to make me successful as a quarterback on the next level," Watson said. "Going out there, though, I learned I could push myself to the highest limits physically."
That included an early-morning wake-up call followed by a training run up a mountainside.
"I flew out there for five hours and right when I got off the plane I had a workout," Watson said. "And then I didn't go to bed until 1 a.m. and then woke up at 4 a.m. to run a mountain and then we did another workout and stayed on the field all day. It was a surprise wake-up. They do it every year. We just didn't know it was coming that early though."
Of course the camps, which also included a trip to Chicago for a Rivals.com session, represented something special and a departure from the norm -- even for Watson. But when the senior wasn't camping, his free time was still minimal, as he split hours between preseason workouts, film study, 7-on-7 competition and a part-time job.
It is an approach that Miller says is typical of his quarterback.
"I have him meet with me each week to go over his schedule. It's been something almost every week in the summer," Miller said. "I've kind of stayed away from him at times and taken things off his plate, because he's still an 18-year-old kid. But he's handled it great, like a professional.
"He has asked me, 'coach when the season starts, can we slow some of this down?' And that says millions to me because he's still a Gainesville Red Elephant."
Indeed, much of this summer was spent in trying to make the most of his final campaign with Gainesville, looking to take the Red Elephants out on top.
"It's the last time for me playing with all of these guys I grew up with, so I'm going to take it one game at a time and not take it for granted," Watson said. "You can't come back to it, so I'm going to enjoy it and have fun with my teammates and hopefully it's a special year."
It certainly has been a special career -- already.
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