Deshaun Watson’s Family: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

deshaun watson mom

Getty Deshaun Watson poses with his family at the 2017 NFL draft.

Long before Deshaun Watson was the starting quarterback for the Houston Texans, his mom, Deann Watson, was persevering for the good of the family. Deann was diagnosed with stage-five tongue cancer when Deshaun was in high school.

Heavy had an opportunity to sit down with Deshaun at the P&G Style Lounge in Philadelphia prior to the quarterback hearing his name called by the Texans back in 2017. Deshaun, who was representing Old Spice, was getting the final touches done on his look for his NFL debut.

“I think my purpose in life is to share my story and be able to give back to other people,” Deshaun explained to Heavy. “Let people know they can achieve anything they want to.”

As his mother fought cancer, Deshaun stepped up by helping raise his two siblings in addition to his responsibilities as a high school athlete. Prior to making his first NFL playoff run, Deshaun noted he believed his upbringing helped prepare him for success in the NFL.

“For sure, but it honestly didn’t come until high school [thinking of the NFL],” Watson noted to 247 Sports. “Growing up as a young kid I never thought I would be in this position. I was just trying to make it out of the hood and trying to get a high school degree and try to play football as long as I can. Never really thought about being in the NFL until I got to high school and my high school coach told me that I could be special and make something out of this career. That’s when I started believing that. Ever since high school, I’ve been dreaming for moments like this, and the time is here now.”

Learn more about Deshaun’s family.

1. Warrick Dunn Presented Deshaun’s Family With the Keys to Their Habitat for Humanity Home

When Deshaun was 11 years old, former NFL player Warrick Dunn handed him the keys to a new house through Habitat for Humanity. It was Deshaun that initially heard about the program and brought a flyer home to his mother.

Deshaun spoke to the Associated Press about what the moment was like.

“I felt grown having my own room,” Deshaun told the Associated Press. “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.”

Given the positive impact Habitat for Humanity has had on his life, Deshaun has been vocal about his support for the organization.

2. His Mother, Deann, Overcame Stage-Five Tongue Cancer

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My Rock! ❤️ Momma Watson! #THANKFUL

A post shared by Deshaun Watson (@deshaunwatson) on Oct 8, 2018 at 10:56am PDT

Not only did the Watsons overcome financial hardship, but Deann battled cancer. She was diagnosed with stage-five tongue cancer in 2011 when Deshaun was a sophomore in high school. She ended up having to have her tongue surgically removed.

Deshaun grew up without a father but had other family members step up in their time of need.

Deann had to have treatment in Atlanta about 50 miles away from their Gainesville home. Sonia and Terri Watson, Deshaun’s aunt and uncle, often hosted the Watson children as his mother was getting the treatment she needed. Sonia explained to Sports Illustrated that it was Deshaun and his siblings that helped his mother persevere.

“Her [Deann Watson] family pushed her through everything. Being there for her children really gave her so much strength,” Sonia told Sports Illustrated.

Now that he is in the NFL, Deshaun is finally in a position to take care of his family as he explained to the Charlotte Observer.

“That’s one of the biggest things that I’m looking forward to is being able to take care of my family, take care of my mom, make sure that she’s settled and that whatever she needs she can get, just kind of enjoying life and let her travel around,” Watson told the Charlotte Observer prior to being drafted.

Watching his mother overcome cancer has prepared Deshaun for whatever the NFL throws his way. He spoke with Heavy about how his life experiences have helped shape him as a football player.

“You have to mature early and take full responsibility,” Deshaun told Heavy. “Be disciplined in dealing with adversity in stressful times. As far as transitioning from college to the pros, I had to go from high school to college. This is no different. Just taking another step.”

3. Deshaun Has 3 Siblings, 2 of Which Are Twins

Deshaun is the second of four children. His older brother, Detrick, is 27 years old. Deshaun has two younger siblings, a brother and sister, who are twins. Tinisha and Tyreke are the youngest Watsons. According to the Gainesville Times, all three boys played football while Tinisha ran track.

As their mother was getting cancer treatments, it was up to Deshaun to help take care of his younger siblings. It is an experience that has made him a better football player as he explained on the Rich Eisen Show.

I’ve been in pressure situations where it was life and death. I had to take full responsibility of my family when my mom was sick…I have no father figure in my life. While I was 15 years old playing football and basketball trying to be a kid, I was also working four jobs to put food on the table with my older brother. Making sure my younger brother and sister got to school, had clothes, food and doing the things they want to do. So, I was taking care of them and making sure the household was steady.

4. Deshaun Has “815” Tattooed on Both Arms as a Reminder of the Government Housing Apartments He Grew Up in

There is an effort by the Watson family to never forget where they came from. In addition to writing “815” on his wristbands before games, Deshaun took it a step further by making the numbers permanent. ESPN the Magazine explained the story.

He put his past in ink too. Before his sophomore season at Clemson, Watson tattooed 815 on both arms as an homage to the government housing, 815 Harrison Square, that he called home until he was 11. His family moved out in 2006 with help from Habitat for Humanity, but that first home — “the grind,” he calls it — stays with him.

The 815 stands for the address of the Harrison Square Apartments where the Watsons grew up, which are located on 815 Harrison Square.

5. Prior to His Rookie Season, Deshaun Bought His Mother a New Jaguar for Her Birthday

Right after being drafted by the Texans, Deshaun bought his mother a 2017 Jaguar for her birthday. Deshaun posted photos of the gift on Instagram along with a birthday note to his mother.

“Happy Birthday Mama! I love you and you deserve your first official car! Enjoy it. Had to cop her the 2017 Jaguar! Blessings from above! ???You my rock and my inspiration!” Deshaun said on Instagram.