Dabo on Watkins' Biletnikoff Snub: Who cares?

by - Senior Writer -

CLEMSON – The watch list for the 2012 Biletnikoff Award was released Tuesday, and one glaring omission was noticed almost immediately – Clemson’s Sammy WatkinsSammy Watkins
So. Wide Receiver
#2 6-1, 200
Fort Myers, FL

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wasn’t on the list.

Watkins’ head coach at Clemson, Dabo SwinneyDabo Swinney
Head Coach
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, says, “Who cares?”

The Biletnikoff Award – presented by the Tallahassee Quarterback Club – is given annually to the nation’s best receiver, and the watch list counts as a who’s who of the nation’s elite receivers. Included on the list was rising junior DeAndre “Nuk” Hopkins, who could be in line for a huge year.

Watkins led the ACC in all-purpose yardage, caught 82 passes and scored 13 touchdowns a year ago, but was omitted from the list. Some say this is because he was arrested in May for running afoul of university police.

However, Justin Blackmon of Oklahoma State won the award the last two seasons after being arrested twice in a 20-month span for DUI.

TigerNet asked Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney Tuesday if being omitted from the list will make Watkins work that much harder, and Swinney responded that preseason awards lists are just “noise.”

“All of that stuff is totally irrelevant,” Swinney said. “Who cares? Let’s see where he is in December. It’s like at the beginning of a season – are we ranked in the top 25 or are we not? Who cares? I care about December. Those lists are a waste of time. I understand it’s fun and entertaining for people to think about and read and write about and project. But from my position and from the players’ position, we shouldn’t think twice about that.”

Swinney said the players have to concentrate on what they can control.

“It’s all about what we control, how we practice, how we study and the effort we give,” he said. “That is all any player or coach should care about.”

Swinney pointed out the fact that Watkins wasn’t on anyone’s list at the beginning of last season but made plenty of post-season lists after a stellar freshman year, and then said the same thing about kicker Chandler CatanzaroChandler Catanzaro
RS Jr. Punter / Kicker
#39 6-2, 200
Greenville, SC

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“Catanzaro wasn’t on any lists, and he had a pretty good year,” Swinney said. “He was an all-conference kicker. All that stuff is just noise from a player’s perspective. It has zero impact on how you play. Nothing against Sammy, but he needs to go have a great season. I told Sammy and I told Tajh [Boyd] and some of the guys that the media have put out there that last year is over. Nobody cares. Go play two bad games in a row and everybody forgets really quick. We all have a lot to prove.”

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