Watkins has ties to Clemson, says Tigers are clear No. 1

by - Senior Writer -
As a junior, Watkins had 50 tackles, 29 tackles for loss and 14 sacks.

Big-time defensive tackle Carlos Watkins Carlos Watkins
Defensive Line
6-4, 270
Forest City, NC

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of Chase (Forest City, N.C.) has been hearing about the Clemson Tigers all throughout his high school career, even before the Clemson coaching staff started to recruit him.

Why? Because his academic advisor and career management counselor at the school is none other than former Clemson running back Chuck McSwain, who won a National Championship during his four years at Clemson.

“He is really the reason that Clemson started recruiting me,” the 6-4, 275-pounder said. “Now that I am being recruited by Clemson, he really doesn’t say too much about it. He is really laid back. But every once in a while he tells me I would look good in the orange and purple. He tells me that he and his brother Rod were pretty good players, but I haven’t seen the film yet.”

Watkins holds offers from most of the top programs in the southeast, but says the Tigers are still his top choice.

“Right now, Clemson is number one because they were my first offer and because of my recruiter, coach [Dan] Brooks,” Watkins told TigerNet. “I talk to him almost every other day, and we have a really good relationship. Clemson is close to home, and I really love all of the coaches.”

In addition to having Clemson connections with Brooks and McSwain, Watkins has also worked out with former Clemson defensive tackle Brentson Buckner at a recent camp.

“Brentson is a great guy,” he said. “He worked with me on my technique, so he is almost like another coach for me.”

Waktins said that several coaches have made their way to Chase this spring to check in on the player that Rivals rates as the 76th-best in the nation, regardless of position.

“Minnesota and Florida have been down here, as has Clemson and Nebraska,” Watkins said. “Coach Brooks has been here a lot, and I believe that defensive coordinator Kevin Steele is supposed to be here this week. I have new offers in the past week from Maryland, Virginia, Vanderbilt and Minnesota. But I am not tired of the recruiting process. This is something I have always wanted, and I am going to enjoy it while I have it.”

As a junior, Watkins had 50 tackles, 29 tackles for loss and 14 sacks. In 10 games on offense he caught 11 passes for 237 yards while rushing for 270 yards on 65 carries.

Watkins also shines on the hardwood, averaging 21.8 points, 10.8 rebounds, 2.0 blocks and 1.2 assists per game while winning conference player of the year honors for the second year in a row this past winter.

He says he isn’t sure what his next step will be, but will sit down with his father shortly and they will make up a summer visit list.

“I am thinking about going to a few camps,” he said. “I just need to sit down with my dad and map out some places and decide what camps I can go to. I am looking for a great program, with great coaches, great facilities, great academics and just a great environment.”

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