Prairie View A&M football coach made history at Clemson

The story of another former Tiger with an impressive tale. A connection with Deshaun Watson extends past the field and into a college classroom.

PRAIRIE VIEW, Texas - It’s a Clemson quarterback connection stretching past the field and into the classroom.

At Prairie View A&M, there's no question the football coach knows Xs and Os, but a reporter’s question for Panthers head coach Willie Simmons is this: How many people know his story of ABCs and GPAs?

“Do (past Clemson Tigers) Deandre and Deshaun Watson know about your place in Clemson football history?” asks KHOU 11’s Jason Bristol.

"Probably not enough to know,” joked Simmons. “I don't think they do..."

Simmons’ story goes like this: he was once a talented quarterback at Clemson, but he'll always be the first football player there ever to graduate in just three years.

"It's a great honor to graduate from an institution as prestigious as Clemson in three years,” he added. “(It took) a lot of hard work; a lot of long nights; sleepless nights.”

Simmons also praises Clemson’s academic center for athletes, one of the first of its kind.

Simmons’ connection to Watson, the Texans’ injured quarterback?

Watson later matched Simmons’ feat; becoming the second Clemson football player to graduate in three years. Watson earned in degree in communication studies, while Simmons holds a marketing one, respectively.

Prairie View A&M (5-5) plays Texas Southern on Saturday in the Labor Day Classic, which was rescheduled due to Hurricane Harvey.

Based on their work as undergrads, it seems both Watson and Simmons embrace a popular saying: Knowledge has a beginning, but no end.

© 2017 KHOU-TV


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