Deshaun Watson grew up in a Warrick Dunn house

Getty Images

When Warrick Dunn was a senior in high school his mother, a police officer, was shot and killed in an armed robbery. That left the 18-year-old Dunn, the oldest of five siblings raised by a single mom, wondering how his family would get by, starting with how to pay rent on their apartment.

Dunn used his mom’s life insurance money to buy a house for his siblings, and he vowed to make it to the NFL and use his riches to help other families. Dunn has accomplished that to an incredible extent, with Warrick Dunn Charities now having put 152 families into affordable homes. One of those homes was the home Deshaun Watson grew up in.

Watson, the Clemson quarterback who led his team to the national championship on Monday night, said last year that Dunn’s generosity changed his life.

“I felt grown having my own room,” Watson said. “Just having my own bed, not really being squished, not really worrying about someone sneaking up on me, it was a great moment, a special moment.”

Dunn was pleased to learn Watson’s family has done well.

“We just try to help put people in safer environments and give kids an opportunity,” Dunn said. “You never know what impact you will have. You hope it’s a positive impact.”

It certainly had a positive impact on Watson.

62 responses to “Deshaun Watson grew up in a Warrick Dunn house

  1. I have a friend who met Dunn in business school and had nothing but respect and awe for him. Never saw that friend get emotional about anything but when he talked to me about Warrick’s story, he nearly broke down crying. Dunn sounds like an amazing man from what he told me – a true man.

    And it is a shame the Dunns of America are overshadowed by the self-righteousness, mindless criticisms and contrived awesomeness that litters the headlines/TV. We need hope and positivity in America again and my hope is that the media can find more stories like this. 😉

  2. This is the kind of story that puts things in perspective.

    Maybe hiring Doug Marrone isn’t the worst thing that happened in the world yesterday.

  3. I saw a segment about this on ESPN last summer and immediately loved the guy. You left out that Watson and his teammates have spent hundreds of hours volunteering to build homes in and around the Clemson area.

  4. Great story. Good for him.

    Warrick Dunn should be more popular in America than the clown Kardashian’s.

  5. What an inspiring and positive story, from all aspects. Thanks for sharing. It’s always refreshing to read good news!

  6. What a great story. I did not know that about Dunn and I do not follow college ball but something tells me when this kid gets to the NFL I will remember this story and reflect on it.

  7. Warrick Dunn and Walter Payton nominees like Eli Manning should be highlighted more.

    The media plastered a hole in dry wall all over the internet yesterday instead because it makes more money than a Dunn like story.

  8. Warrick Dunn has alway been one of my favorite football players, first with my Seminoles and then with my Buccaneers. But, his character has always shined through over and over. Unselfish on the field made him a winner, but being unselfish in life made him a CHAMPION!! A very quiet, unassuming champion. God bless him!

  9. Heart warming story…Dunn is changing the world one house at a time…who knows what could’ve happened to Watson had he not had that safe environment to go to…are you a part of the solution or are you a person that complains about the community? I love Warrick Dunn.

  10. Why can’t they run more stories like and ignore those players who are losers. Dunn is no longer playing but is a better role model for kids than people like OBJ and Sherman could ever be.

    There are probably many more stories out there and frankly, I’d rather read those stories than stories about selfish, immature players.

    People like Dunn are what makes this country so great, not the politicians no matter what all of them think.

  11. class act, outstanding citizen, very good if not great football player…when living in Sarasota, Fl Warrick Dunn’s tenure as a role model was widely reported in the newspapers. PFT: please, more stories such as this one…

  12. Warrick Dunn is an incredible person. Imagine that adversity, and having the success he’s had. Then to pay it forward like he does. Truly inspiring!

  13. Life time Tampa native here: Warrick Dunn is the personification of class, humility, and heart. It hurts me to know he had to share a team with Warren Sapp, the opposite of everything Dunn is.

  14. Pretty soon Watson, you will have the home of your dreams. I hope that pay it forward in honor of Warrick Dunn with the riches that you will make in the NFL.

  15. Wow just wow…great to hear the good some players do instead of reading all the bad….hopefully Watson will continue that generosity going forward….

  16. Mr. Dunn is a man. A REAL man.

    Perhaps he should consider a run in politics? Hearts and minds like his are what this country needs, desperately.

  17. Never been a Bucs fan, but how do you not love Warrick Dunn? He was always a class act, and that’s not easy to do when you’ve lost your mom at such a young age.

    I would love to see him run for public office one day.

  18. Reading these comments warms my heart. It seems that no matter what our backgrounds may be, what are our political leaning may be or which team we support on Saturday/Sunday – we all support a kind, giving human being. People like Dunn bring everyone together, and that is pretty awesome, imho.

    Warrick Dunn shows us something we can ALL appreciate – mankind showing up as kind man.

    I appreciate you brother.

  19. Too bad more of these athletes don’t follow Warrick Dunn’s example and make a positive impact in their community. Far too many negative stories these days. Keep up the great work Warrick.

  20. He grew up in a Habitat for Humanity home furnished by Warrick Dunn. It’s great that Mr. Dunn is supporting the mission of an organization like Habitat- let them do their thing (get a family into a home) and then support the family with post-purchase resources. Good stuff!

  21. It would have been very easy for Dunn to spiral down after his mom was killed and be lost to the streets or worse. Instead he became successful and helps other in unfortunate situations. The world is a better place because of great human beings like Dunn.

    This just goes to show that people can’t be looked at as a gangbanger or a street punk just because they’re poor. Sometimes they just need a chance.

  22. Thank you Michael David Smith for sharing this. What a cool story. Warrick Dunn should be invited to speak to every team. I’m sure there are other guys doing good things in the community too, but we seem to prefer the news updates on Odell Beckham and Johnny Manziel. It would be sweet if someone like Bill Gates or the Walton family, or Peyton Manning would partner up with Dunn and do this on a larger scale. Maybe they already are, and they’re just keeping it private.

  23. You should also note the involvement Charlie Ward had on Dunn back at Florida State in 1992 and 1993. Ward made it his mission to take Dunn under his wing and give him a positive role model in his life and make sure he did what he needed to do – go to class, workout and just be a good overall person.

  24. Warrick Dunn played a long time in the NFL and had a wonderful career. Never got the fame and fortune that some others do because he never wanted to be a Showboat like so many others that cause us to roll our eyes these days. He didn’t crave the media attention like so many others, he let his performance do his talking. Gotta respect a guy like that

  25. Warrick Dunn is one of my all time favorite players, which says something because he spent most of his career playing on my favorite teams division. His off field actions was somethinf I always noticed when I was a kid. He’s the epitome of the term class act, a term that is loosely thrown around these days.

    This is a cool story.

  26. I’ve been wondering who these 3 people are that keep giving thumbs down to readers who express genuine appreciation to Warrick Dunn and his foundation for trying to make a difference in people’s lives. They must have been sucking lemons are something. They seriously need to get a life. I believe the world needs more human beings like Mr. Dunn and not just because we are from the same state (Louisiana).

  27. He grew up in a Habitat for Humanity house furnished by Warrick Dunn. Great stuff that Mr. Dunn is doing- but he didn’t just give them a house!

  28. Warrick Dunn is what people in a terrible situation should strive to be. I understand not everyone can be a football player. What I mean is they should strive to be something great instead of slinging crack or living off the government forever because those are the easy things to do.

  29. I knew Warrick Dunn was one of my favorite players that weren’t Cowboys for a reason.

    This validates it.

    Hope DeShaun is able to do something of this sort of his own.

    This story is fantastic

  30. Deshaun should buy a house for someone if he makes it big in the pros? What? He shouldn’t have to do anything he doesn’t want to. Who are you to suggest that. He should want to but has zero obliagation to do so.

  31. I see comments on here commending Dunn for giving back to the community and helping those in need. On those comments, I see people who have clicked “dislike”.
    What the hell is wrong with you people???

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!