Clemson All-America quarterback Deshaun Watson joins two-sport standout Kenzie Kent of Boston College as the top male and female ACC athletes for the 2016-17 academic year, as voted upon by the Atlantic Coast Sports Media Association (ACSMA).
Watson, who earned the 64th Anthony J. McKevlin Award as the conference's premier male athlete, is a repeat winner from last year. Watson is the first repeat winner of the award since Charlie Ward in 1991-92 and 1992-93.
Watson led Clemson to its second National Football Championship this past season and earned a number of individual accolades as the Tigers posted a 14-1 overall record and won their second consecutive ACC title.
Kent claimed the 27th Mary Garber Award as the conference's finest female athlete after playing leading roles for the Boston College ice hockey team that reached the NCAA semifinals and the women’s lacrosse team that played for the national title. Kent was voted the Most Outstanding Player of the 2017 NCAA Division I Women’s Lacrosse Championship.
The ACC athlete of the year awards are given in memory of distinguished journalists from the region. McKevlin was a sports editor in Raleigh, North Carolina, and Garber, of the Winston-Salem (North Carolina) Journal, was a pioneer as one of the first female sports journalists in the nation.
Watson, who graduated in just three years, completed 388 passes of 579 passes in his final collegiate season for 4,593 yards and 41 touchdowns. The Gainesville, Georgia, native added 626 yards rushing for 5,219 yards of total offense in his 15 games. Watson, who posted a 32-3 record as a starting quarterback at Clemson, set ACC records for passing yards and touchdowns in a season and tied the league mark for completions. He also set the ACC record for passing yards in a game with 580 vs. Pittsburgh.