Clemson coach Dabo Swinney raised eyebrows when he warned the Browns last month that if they pass on quarterback Deshaun Watson, they’re passing on Michael Jordan. But Swinney isn’t backing down from that lofty comparison.
Swinney said at Clemson’s Pro Day that he sees no reason he shouldn’t compare Watson to Jordan because he thinks they’re both special athletes.
“Some of the media folks got mad at me because I said if you pass on him you’re passing on Michael Jordan. But I don’t know how to articulate the type of greatness that’s inside of him. And for me that’s what Michael Jordan represents because that’s what I grew up with,” Swinney said, via the Charlotte Observer. “I’m sure when Michael Jordan was coming out of North Carolina his 3-pointer wasn’t very good. And he probably had some flaws, whatever, when you start poking holes on him,” Swinney added. “But it’s who he was, that will, that drive. You can’t coach that and that’s what I want to make sure I articulate. This guy is brilliant between the ears and he’s special in his heart.”
Comparing a football player to Michael Jordan is suggesting that he’s poised to become the greatest player in NFL history, and it might be slightly premature to say that about Watson before he has ever played in an NFL game. But the coach who knows Watson best sounds awfully confident that he’s going to be a great one.