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Deshaun Watson is the darling of morning TV, and kindhearted folks everywhere, for donating his first-ever NFL game check to Houston Texans cafeteria workers devastated by Hurricane Harvey. He’s also the rare quarterback who terrifies both Nick Saban and Bill Belichick.
Is it any wonder than that the feel-good, play-good Texans quarterback is the only rookie quarterback that NFL veterans respect?
A new poll of NFL players in the latest issue of ESPN The Magazine reveals that Watson already has the overwhelming respect of his pro peers, something no other rookie QB can say.
When NFL players were asked “Which rookie QB will have the most success in the NFL?,” Watson won in a landslide. The third quarterback taken in last April’s NFL Draft received a whooping 61 percent of the vote. Mitch Trubisky, who infamously went No. 2 overall in the draft, finished second with a mere 18 percent of the vote. Notre Dame rookie DeShone Kizer came in third with 12 percent.
NFL players aren’t this united on anything else in the world (besides the fact they don’t like Roger Goodell). Some of them can’t even agree that dinosaurs existed. But an overwhelming majority of them sure believe in Deshaun Watson.
Coming off a week in which Watson pushed Tom Brady, Belichick and the defending Super Bowl champion Patriots to the brink, only to be let down by the Texans’ super-hyped defense, a week in which Watson took it upon himself to donate all $27,353 of his first NFL paycheck to three women workers in the Texans cafeteria who lost their homes in Hurricane Harvey, this seems about right.
A 610 AM sports radio host noted Friday afternoon that he’d be comfortable trusting Watson with his kids and his bank ATM pin number at this point. The fact that an NFL star to be who just turned 22 thought of those cafeteria workers before himself says so much.
“A lot of the people who work so hard for us behind the scenes, especially the people in the cafeteria – I mean, they’re here at 4:30 in the morning,” Texans coach Bill O’Brien says. “Some of those people, in Harvey, they lost everything. A number of our players donated money to help them and then (Deshaun) gave his game check, which is incredible.
“That’s the type of guy he is. He’s a first-class guy.”
Deshaun Watson’s Instant Cred
Watson carried this type of uber cred with his NFL peers long before this week though. He had it coming into the league — an almost unheard of feat for a rookie. Two astounding college football national championship game performances against mighty Alabama had plenty to do with it. His cool-as-heck demeanor helped too.
ESPN’s NFL players poll was conducted long before Watson’s breakout week. The emotional scene with the cafeteria workers, shared by the Texans in a video and picked up by almost all the morning shows, hadn’t happened yet.
They still already knew. This rookie is special. He came into the league a leader. You sort of have to pity the teams that selected another quarterback before he came off the board.
Watch Watson give away his first game check: