|by Clemson Athletic Communications|
"I am very thankful for the past three years at Clemson University that have enabled me to grow academically, athletically, and spiritually," said Watkins. "After much prayerful consideration, I have decided to take the next step in pursuing my lifelong dream of playing in the NFL.
"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 the PAW and will forever be a part of the Clemson family."
Watkins finished his Clemson career in grand style as he was named the Most Outstanding Player of the Discover Orange Bowl. He had 16 receptions for 227 yards and two scores in Clemson's 40-35 win over sixth-ranked Ohio State.
The 16 receptions and 227 receiving yards established a Clemson single game record and an Orange Bowl record. The 16 receptions also tied an ACC standard for any game and established a record for a BCS Bowl game. The 227 yards were the second most receiving yards in any BCS Bowl game.
Watkins finished the 2013 season with 101 receptions for 1,464 yards and 12 touchdowns. He broke Clemson records for receptions in a season (Aaron Kelly 88 in 2007) and receiving yards (DeAndre Hopkins 1,405 in 2012).
The native of Fort Myers, FL was a first-team All-American this year by the American Football Coaches Association and was a finalist for the 2013 Biletnikoff Award.
Watkins finished his career with 240 receptions for 3,391 yards and 27 touchdowns. The reception total and yardage total are Clemson records and the touchdown total tied former teammate DeAndre Hopkins, who is now with the Houston Texans of the NFL.
He finishes his career ranked second in ACC history in career receptions and third in reception yardage. He is tied for eighth in touchdown receptions and tied for second in 100-yard receiving games with 15. He finished his career with 5,129 all-purpose yards, second in Clemson history to C.J. Spiller's 7,588 and ninth in ACC history.
In terms of national rankings this year, Watkins was seventh in reception yards per game with 112.6, 10th in touchdown receptions with 12, and 11th in receptions/game with 7.8. He led the nation in receptions vs. teams with a winning record with 67 and was second in yardage with 1,009. He was the only player in the nation with two receptions of at least 90 yards.
Clemson Records Held by Sammy Watkins (23)
Single Game (4)
Receptions: ^@16 vs. Ohio State, 2013
Reception Yards: 227 vs. Ohio State, 2013
Reception Yards in Half: 177 vs. Wake Forest, 2012
All-Purpose Yards: 345 vs. Maryland, 2011
Receptions: 101 in 2013
Receptions/Game: 7.8 in 2013
Reception Yards: 1,464 in 2013
Reception Yards/Game: 112.6 in 2013
100-yard Receiving Games: 8 in 2013
Consecutive 100-Yard Games: #3 in 2013 (twice)
Kickoff Returns: 33 in 2011
Kickoff Return Yards: 826 in 2011
Receptions 90 Yards or More: 2 in 2013
Receptions: 240 from 2011-13
Receptions/Game: 6.67 from 2011-13
Reception Yards: 3391 from 2011-13
Reception Yards/Game: 92.2 from 2011-13
Touchdown Receptions: #27 from 2011-13
100-Yard Receiving Games: 15 from 2011-13
150-Yard Receiving Games: 7 from 2011-13
1000-Yard Receiving Seasons: #2 in 2011 and 2013
Years First-Team All-American: 3, 2011-12-13
ACC Receiver of the Week Selections: 7, from 2011-13
^Tied ACC Record
@BCS Bowl Record