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Deshaun Watson Says Ohio State Was The Runner-up In His Recruitment

If Deshaun Watson hadn't chosen Clemson, he might be an Ohio State Buckeye right now.

During a media session today, Watson revealed that the Buckeyes were his second choice, but he ultimately honored a long-standing commitment to Clemson, which was one of the first major programs to identify him early in his high school career.

That is pretty interesting, as the normal narrative about Watson's recruitment is more about Georgia losing out on the Peach State product. A Bleacher Report article by Sanjay Kirpalani published last week went into detail about how Clemson was able to get a huge jump on the quarterback's recruitment before he exploded as a blue chip prospect.

Former Clemson offensive coordinator Chad Morris, now the head coach at SMU, was instrumental in the Tigers landing Watson.

"I saw Deshaun as a freshman," Morris told Bleacher Report's Damon Sayles. "I watched him in the playoffs as a freshman. It only took about two or three clips to know this man was going to be special. We immediately offered him."

The offer would be verified months later when he made his way to campus to throw for Swinney.

"They had him up to camp between his freshman and sophomore year, and that is when they offered him at that camp," Miller confirmed.

Georgia eventually got into the Deshaun Watson sweepstakes, but ultimately Clemson had the groundwork laid to secure the commitment. Ohio State and Urban Meyer are mentioned as a factor late in his recruitment.

Miller noted that prominent coaches such as Auburn's Gus Malzahn, Florida State's Jimbo Fisher and Ohio State's Urban Meyer all stopped by to try to get Watson to reconsider his pledge. However, Watson never wavered and enrolled at Clemson in January 2014.

Clearly, Meyer made a bigger impact than many thought, but ultimately, it is hard to argue with Watson's choice. Elsewhere in the piece, Morris told Watson's high school football coach Bruce Miller that if the Tigers landed him, they would play for a national championship. If Clemson can get by Ohio State on Saturday, you can make it two.