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Swinney Responds to Deshaun Watson Allegations

Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney said that his relationship with Deshaun Watson goes all the way back to his days in high school and that during that entire time his character was never called into question.

No one has been more surprised about the allegations surrounding Deshaun Watson than his former head coach Dabo Swinney.

The current Houston Texans' quarterback has come under fire over the past week after numerous allegations of sexual assault have surfaced. In total 13 lawsuits have been filed against the former Clemson standout, but no criminal charges as of yet.

Watson had a stellar three-year career at Clemson playing for Swinney where the two developed a bond that the Tigers' head coach said resembles a father-son relationship, and no matter what, Swinney will always see his former player that way.

"I mean, certainly disappointed to see, you know, his name in the news, and all this going on," Swinney said. "But, you know, look, I love Deshaun Watson. He's like a son to me, and that's how I love him." 

Watson helped lead the Tigers to back-to-back appearances in the national championship during his tenure, which included helping Clemson win it all in 2016, their first national title in more than three decades. 

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Swinney said that the allegations seem out of character for the person he knows Watson to be, seeing as during his time at Clemson, Watson was never one to get into trouble.

"Three years here, as a player, I think I had a chance to yell at him one time," Swinney said. "He was five minutes late to a team meeting that he overslept for, and that's it. So, I mean that's the Deshaun I know. I can only base my thoughts on my experiences we have, which have been, you know, just wonderful. And, again, love him like a son and we'll just have to see where everything else goes for sure."

The head coach's relationship with Watson stretches back much further than his playing days at Clemson, though, and Swinney maintains that in all of those years Watson's character never came into question.

"As far as all the legal stuff and all, that'll you know, take its course, and all that stuff," Swinney said. "So certainly can't, you know, speculate or comment on any of that stuff, but all I can tell you is I've known Deshaun since the ninth grade, and man, he's, he's been nothing but exemplary in every area that I've ever known him in." 

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