3 Tigers named SN's Preseason All-Americans

by - Assoc. Editor -

Sporting News has released their Preseason All-American teams on Wednesday morning, and three Clemson players were selected on the prestigious first team.

Heisman finalist Deshaun Watson was the only Clemson offensive player listed on the All-America team.

"Watson holds the keys to Clemson’s national championship hopes," Sporting News said. "He’s a 4,000-yard passer, 1,000-yard rusher, a Heisman candidate and potential No. 1 NFL Draft pick. We last saw Watson put up 478 total yards of offense against Alabama in the College Football Playoff championship. We can’t wait to see what’s next."

Watson finished third in the Heisman Trophy balloting last season and will be one of the favorites in 2016. Watson completed 333-of-491 passes for 4,104 yards and 35 touchdowns and also had 207 rushes for 1,105 yards and 12 scores this past season.

Defensive tackle Carlos Watkins returned to Clemson for his senior season and has been named to the preseason first-team All-America team.

"The Tigers lost some defensive playmakers to the NFL Draft, but Watkins’ return helps shore up the interior," Sporting News said. "He totaled 34 tackles, 3.5 sacks and even added an interception last season. Clemson will need more from him as a senior, but that’s a challenge he should accept."

Veteran playmaker Ben Boulware was also named on the preseason first-team All-America list.

"It doesn’t hurt that Carlos Watkins will have Boulware behind him at linebacker, and vice versa," Sporting News said. "Boulware is a max-effort player who totaled 135 tackles this season, and he’ll be asked to help break in several new starters for the Tigers.

No Clemson players were listed on Sporting News' second-team All-America team.

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