Most incredible fact of last night is Watson went #12, same spot as Warwick Dunn in 1997. Dunn provided Habitat House for Watson's family.— Tim Bourret (@TimBourret) April 28, 2017
In late 2006, Watson and his mother moved from public housing in Gainesville, Ga., into a house built by Habitat for Humanity. Warrick Dunn, then with the Atlanta Falcons, furnished it and presented Watson’s mother, Deann, with the keys when they moved in.
Since then, Watson has paid it forward by volunteering at Habitat for Humanity build sites. In 2015, the organization bestowed upon him its Next Generation Award, which honors younger people who grew up in Habitat houses and who best exemplify the group’s mission.
“Thanks everyone for this opportunity for us to be able to come out here and help a family out, just like myself and my story with me and my mom,” Watson said in 2016 when he was given the Lowe’s AFCA Good Works Team Award during a Habitat build-out project. “Having an opportunity to move out of the government homes and into a Habitat house, to be able to start a foundation for our family, being able to achieve my dreams and goals in my life.”
Dunn, a three-time Pro Bowler who was taken with the 12th pick of the 1997 draft by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, is one of the most charity-minded players ever to play in the NFL, with his foundation partnering with Habitat for Humanity to provide home furnishings and down-payment assistance to hundreds of families.
Also Thursday, Watson struggled to keep it together while reading a touching letter from his mother after his selection by the Texans.