Earlier this year, following its 35-31 win against Alabama in the college football playoff national championship, Swinney likened Watson to the best basketball player of all time.
"He's humble, the same guy every day, and always ready," Swinney told PFT. "He comes to every meeting prepared. That's how you change things, you change the culture, through — for me it's through discipline and recruiting, staffing and all that stuff. For them, it's decision-making, it's who you pick."
"And I'm just telling you: They pass on Deshaun Watson, they're passing on Michael Jordan. I mean, I don't know what the heck I'm talking about, I'm just an old funky college coach, but Deshaun Watson is the best, by a long shot."
Watson said that he can only hope to be talked about like "His Airness."
"It caught me off guard, actually," Watson told reporters Friday. "I was actually training in California and after I got done working out I saw the quotes and I just kind of smiled because I knew it was Coach Swinney. That's how Swinney is. I understand I'm not Michael Jordan. I guess he sees greatness in me, and hopefully in 10-15 years people are going to talk about my name like they do Michael Jordan."
Watson will be teamed up with another former Tigers star in wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins.
"I talked to him last night and he said, 'Congratulations, welcome to Houston, and let's go to work'," Watson said of Hopkins.
But it wasn't Hopkins who first phoned Watson when he heard the news about being drafted.
"Tom Savage was actually the first guy that shot me a text afterwards. He said 'Congratulations and welcome to Houston," Watson told reporters. "Let's go to work.' He was excited for me to be there, to be able to join the QB room. I got a tweet from J.J. Watt, Jadeveon Clowney, D.J. Reader, and there were a few other guys that kind of reached out to me."
Watson played for the Tigers from 2014 to 2016. Hopkins was with the Tigers from 2010 to 2012.