Three Tigers named to ESPN.com's Preseason All-American team


by - Assoc. Editor -
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Josh Kelly - USA Today Sports

ESPN.com released their college football preseason All-American team on Monday morning and three Tigers were included with Heisman finalist Deshaun Watson, wide receiver Mike Williams, and defensive tackle Carlos Watkins.

Clemson junior quarterback Deshaun Watson was a no-brainer selection for the quarterback position.

"In his first full season as the starter at Clemson, Watson led the Tigers to an ACC title and an Orange Bowl win and nearly pulled the upset over Alabama in the national championship game," ESPN.com said. "In the process, he threw for 4,109 yards, ran for 1,105 more and totaled 47 touchdowns. The performance set a high bar, but as NFL scouts drool over his potential to star at the next level, his sights are clearly set on finishing the run to a national championship first."

Watson's 5,209 yards of total offense and his 47 total touchdowns were ACC records, and his rushing total was a record for a Clemson quarterback.

Playmaker Mike Williams is back for Clemson from his neck injury and ready to make a huge splash for the Tigers this season.

"Watching his team win an ACC title without him took its toll, but it also is driving Williams to have a huge season in his return to action," ESPN.com said. "Given his 1,030 yards and six touchdowns as a sophomore in 2014, that could mean big problems for opposing DBs."

Carlos Watkins will be one of the unquestioned leaders of a strong Clemson defense this season.

"His first few years at Clemson were relatively quiet, but a light came on for Watkins in 2015, as defensive coordinator Brent Venables said, and he blossomed into one of the most disruptive interior linemen in the country," ESPN.com said. "Watkins racked up 69 tackles -- eight for a loss -- and 3.5 sacks while helping Clemson's line stuff opposing run games. He even recorded an interception against Appalachian State and returned it for a touchdown. His strength and athleticism have NFL scouts talking him up as a potential first-round draft pick."

After the regular season, Watkins was named First-team All-ACC by the media.

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