Watkins following in Spiller's footsteps

by - Senior Writer -
Watkins said he has have never been caught from behind on the football field.

CLEMSON – Sammy WatkinsSammy Watkins
Fr. Wide Receiver
#7 6-1, 200
Fort Myers, FL

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admits that he admired former Clemson running back C.J. SpillerC.J. Spiller
Pro Running Back
#28 5-11, 195
Lake Butler, FL

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while Spiller was settings records at Clemson.

So it’s no surprise that he found himself thinking about his idol as he was running down the sideline during his 62-yard touchdown catch-and-go early in Saturday’s fourth quarter, the winning points in Clemson’s thrilling 35-30 victory over Florida St.

Watkins caught the pass from Boyd, and said he immediately looked up to the big scoreboard over The Hill to see if there were any FSU players in the vicinity, and that is when he thought about Spiller.

“Yeah, I looked up at it, and I thought ‘I am doing the same thing C.J. did.’ I wanted to see if there were any Florida St. players behind me,” Watkins said. “

Like his idol, Watkins has set Clemson abuzz with his exploits on the field, and says that it really wouldn’t matter if there were a defender behind him.

“I have never been caught from behind on the football field,” he said. “Once I get that step, I know they can’t catch me.”

Watkins now takes his show on the road as the Tigers prepare to take on Virginia Tech in Blacksburg this Saturday, but he told TigerNet that he feels confident he can make the same plays in Lane Stadium that he does in Death Valley.

“I feel very comfortable. We're going to practice the same,” Watkins said. “We'll try to approach it like we do every other game. At first I might be a little jittery and I might have some butterflies, but then things will open up and hopefully we'll play well. I just want to make it through that first drive and then it will just be another game.”

The Florida native was asked if he ever finds time to have fun, and he said his downtime activities might surprise some people.

"I've just practiced so hard. I've worked so hard,” he said. “But that's what I came here to do - work hard and get my education. I usually end up at Vickery Hall because of what they expect here, or I will just go over to Tajh's house. I am always asking him questions. I just want to get better.”

He even has tried to help fellow freshman Mike BellamyMike Bellamy
Fr. Running Back
#5 5-10, 175
Nocatee, FL

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, who is just now learning what it takes to be successful on the collegiate level.

"He's been getting into it and working harder,” Watkins said. “He's learning the plays. And he's a hard worker anyway. They have to tell him to stop running sometimes."

Watkins declined to answer a question of how good he thinks he can be, but did say that he thinks this year’s offense has a chance to be special.

“We think this can be a great offense,” he said. “We have the mentality that nobody can stop us. In a situation where we have single coverage, I feel that I'm going to win it every time, but all of our receivers feel that way. We tell Tajh, 'You see one-on-one coverage, throw it. Just throw it. Check out of what you have, and give it to us. We want it.’

“A lot of people are downing us because we haven't been on the map. It's 'We're not physical or coaches this and coaches that.' They're saying we can't be consistent. We're showing them that we can. We can't pay attention to what the media is saying and what ESPN is saying. We’ve got to be consistent and get better. We're trying to prove a lot of people wrong."

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