NCAA FB

Clemson's star WR Watkins to declare for NFL Draft

Clemson Tigers wide receiver Sammy Watkins runs
Clemson WR Sammy Watkins set an Orange Bowl receiving-yards record.
Share This Story

   
 

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP)

Clemson's record-setting wide receiver Sammy Watkins says he's headed to the NFL.

The 6-foot-1, 205-pound junior from Fort Myers, Fla., confirmed reports that he's leaving school, saying Monday that he is entering May's NFL draft.

"After much prayerful consideration, I have decided to take the next step in pursuing my lifelong dream of playing in the NFL," Watkins said in a statement released by Clemson.

Watkins has set 23 school records in three seasons. He finished his career as the most outstanding player of the Orange Bowl. He caught 16 passes for 227 yards and two touchdowns in No. 12 Clemson's 40-35 win over seventh-ranked Ohio State.

Watkins is considered the top receiver prospect available and a top-15 selection in the NFL draft.

Watkins leaves as the school's all-time leader with 240 receptions, 3,391 receiving yards and 15 games with 100 or more yards. His 27 career touchdowns tied the Clemson mark of former teammate DeAndre Hopkins, who left after his junior season last year and became a first-round draft pick of the Houston Texans.

Watkins was an instant sensation from the moment he walked on campus in 2011, helping the Tigers to an 8-0 start and their first Atlantic Coast Conference title in two decades. He was an AP All-American that season with 82 catches, 1,219 yards and 12 touchdowns.

Things took a turn as a sophomore due to injuries and a two-game suspension to start the season after Watkins' offseason drug arrest. Watkins pledged to rededicate himself to football and the Tigers and that showed this past fall with single-season school marks of 101 catches and 1,464 yards.

WE ARE FIRED UP!

College football fans are some of the most passionate in sports. See them in action.

"I would not have this opportunity without the support and encouragement of my family, coaches, teammates, and the best fans in college football. No matter where my next steps may lead, I will always take pride" in Clemson, Watkins said.

Tigers coach Dabo Swinney told The Associated Press Monday that Watkins has shown what can be accomplished when you combine talent and work ethic.

"We have won 32 games, the ACC and the Orange Bowl since he arrived," Swinney said. "Pretty obvious the impact he has had."

Clemson will also be without receiver Martavis Bryant and cornerback Baushad Breeland, both who announced they'd given up their final seasons for the NFL draft.

Tagged: Clemson, Sammy Watkins

Related Stories

Member Comments

Please note by clicking on "Post comment" you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Use and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Be Polite. Inappropriate posts may be removed by the moderator.

powered by

College Football Pick'em on FOX


NCAA FB Videos

AJ Pasquale's journey back to UCLA Posted: Jun 17, 2014
UCLA football ops intern AJ Pasquale describes his own personal journey after th...

Winston issued adult civil citation Posted: Apr 30, 2014
Get the latest news surrounding Jameis Winston's recent shoplifting fiasco.

Mark Emmert against unionization Posted: Apr 06, 2014
NCAA president Mark Emmert comments on unionization for student-athletes.

Get Inside the Locker Room with Scout.com

Fox Sports Store

    itemName itemURL imageSrc price itemDescription
    Nike Florida Gators Gridiron 2012 Team Issue T-Shirt - Royal Blue http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Florida_Gators/browse/featuredproduct/759777/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_759000/ff_759777_xl.jpg&w=100 24.95 Nike Florida Gators Gridiron 2012 Team Issue T-Shirt - Royal Blue
    Nike Michigan State Spartans Football 2012 Team Issue T-Shirt - White http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Michigan_State_Spartans/browse/featuredproduct/760171/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_760000/ff_760171_xl.jpg&w=100 24.95 Nike Michigan State Spartans Football 2012 Team Issue T-Shirt - White
    Nike USC Trojans Fight On My School T-Shirt - Cardinal http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_USC_Trojans/browse/featuredproduct/761373/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_761000/ff_761373_xl.jpg&w=100 24.95 Nike USC Trojans Fight On My School T-Shirt - Cardinal
    Nike Alabama Crimson Tide Elite Force Coaches Sideline Performance Polo - Crimson http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Alabama_Crimson_Tide/browse/featuredproduct/829709/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_829000/ff_829709_xl.jpg&w=100 64.95 Nike Alabama Crimson Tide Elite Force Coaches Sideline Performance Polo - Crimso..
    Nike LSU Tigers Elite Force Coaches Sideline Performance Polo - Purple http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_LSU_Tigers/browse/featuredproduct/829740/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_829000/ff_829740_xl.jpg&w=100 49.99 Nike LSU Tigers Elite Force Coaches Sideline Performance Polo - Purple
    Nike Oklahoma Sooners Legacy 91 Dri-FIT Adjustable Coaches Cap - Crimson http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Oklahoma_Sooners/browse/featuredproduct/830935/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_830000/ff_830935_xl.jpg&w=100 21.95 Nike Oklahoma Sooners Legacy 91 Dri-FIT Adjustable Coaches Cap - Crimson
    adidas Notre Dame Fighting Irish Hot Sideline Jacket - Navy Blue http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Notre_Dame_Fighting_Irish/browse/featuredproduct/861243/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_861000/ff_861243_xl.jpg&w=100 69.95 adidas Notre Dame Fighting Irish Hot Sideline Jacket - Navy Blue
    adidas Nebraska Cornhuskers Sideline Hot Quarter Zip Jacket - Scarlet http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Nebraska_Cornhuskers/browse/featuredproduct/861247/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_861000/ff_861247_xl.jpg&w=100 69.95 adidas Nebraska Cornhuskers Sideline Hot Quarter Zip Jacket - Scarlet
    Nike Alabama Crimson Tide 2012 BCS National Champions Players Locker Room Snapback Hat - Charcoal/Black http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Alabama_Crimson_Tide/browse/featuredproduct/1087345/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1087000/ff_1087345_xl.jpg&w=100 29.95 Nike Alabama Crimson Tide 2012 BCS National Champions Players Locker Room Snapba..
    Nike Alabama Crimson Tide 2012 BCS National Champions Locker Room T-Shirt - Ash http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Alabama_Crimson_Tide/browse/featuredproduct/1093431/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1093000/ff_1093431_xl.jpg&w=100 24.95 Nike Alabama Crimson Tide 2012 BCS National Champions Locker Room T-Shirt - Ash