Watkins wanted to be a Tiger since sophomore year


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Watkins scores just 26 seconds into the game against Troy.
Watkins scores just 26 seconds into the game against Troy.

CLEMSON – Freshman wide receiver Sammy WatkinsSammy Watkins
Fr. Wide Receiver
#7 6-2, 200
Fort Myers, FL

View Full Profile
said he has been a Tiger, in his heart if not on paper, since his sophomore year of high school.

He just didn’t tell anybody, and it all became part of a bigger plan.

Watkins credits former offensive line coach and recruiter Brad Scott with helping him make up his mind early in the process, and that Scott was the first college recruiter to show interest.

“Coach Brad was the first one,” Watkins said earlier this week. “I liked him right away because he kept it real. He was always around, and he came down every two weeks to watch me play. But it wasn’t always about football – he came to my house and we went out to eat. My parents loved him.”

Watkins said that between Scott and his parents, there was no way he was going to let his grades slip because college was always the goal.

“They knew I had good grades in high school, but they told me to stay humble and stay inside myself,” he said. “I went to school every day and worked hard, and I always made A’s and B’s. If I slipped to a C, they might say something. Coach Brad stressed it every day. And there were certain classes I didn’t need, but he stressed those and set goals for me, and that made me set goals for myself.”

Scott’s involvement in his life and the allure of leaving the tough streets of Fort Myers, Florida, helped Watkins make up his mind early in the recruiting process.

“I already knew I was coming here – since my sophomore year,” he said. “I just didn’t tell anybody, but Clemson was where I was coming. I took my visits to see if anything would change, and I wanted to have fun with it and not stress about things. But when I did commit, I didn’t talk to any other schools.”

He said he fell in love with Clemson after his first visit, and feels like it is a place he can flourish athletically, socially and academically.

“I love the family atmosphere, my teammates and the coaches,” he said. “My parents came up here and they talked about the views and the green grass and they loved it. I work hard every day in Vickery Hall – two or three hours a day – and they stay on me about my grades. You can't get into too much trouble here. I mean, you could, but you would have to look really hard for it.”

He knew that getting away from Fort Myers was the key to being able to succeed.

“There is a bunch of trouble down there where I live, in my neighborhood and stuff,” he said. “I just wanted to get away. It was my decision all the way, and they [his parents] wanted me to make a grown-man decision, so I chose to come here. Down there, there is violence, shootings, murder, drugs and everything. I basically stayed at school most of the day, and then I would come home and eat, take a shower, lie down and go to sleep.”

He said all he has to do to keep himself motivated is look at all of the great players from his neighborhood that never made it out because of the wrong decisions they made.

“I am going to block out everything but football and school,” he said. “I know you have to have fun with your teammates, but you have to look at this like it’s a business. You have to eat right, drink right and be on time for school. I have seen too many good players that were brought down.

“I don’t want to be that person – I want to stay up. There are some athletes from my area who played great in high school, but they went the other way. There a lot of people like me in my neighborhood – they are probably even faster and they can run like me. But they didn’t make it. They failed. I knew that wouldn’t be me, I knew I was going to college.”

Watkins was one of the top high school receivers in the country a year ago, and he earned a starting job at Clemson after just a few practices in camp. This past Saturday, he lived up to much of the hype by taking his first collegiate catch 33 yards for a touchdown, and that occurred just 26 seconds into the game.


He said his debut was all he could have dreamed of and more, saying the most passes he ever caught in a high school game was “four or five.”

He said his strong play came from that desire to succeed and the willingness to put in the work necessary to reach his goals.

“It all started earlier this summer. I didn’t even have a notebook, but when I would work out with the other players I would go home and write them down,” he said. “Then when we started meetings, I would write things down, and they [the coaches] saw how fast I was picking it up. I would go out to practice and I could go fast because I wasn’t thinking about the plays. I studied here every night, and then I came in here and studied film. I came here ready and prepared.”

All because he has a plan, a plan that had its beginnings when he was still a sophomore in high school.

“I plan on doing great things.”



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Subject (Replies: 58) Author
spacer Watkins wanted to be a Tiger since sophomore year
B-Meist®
spacer Wow***
acraftytiger®
spacer Wow
Darengin
spacer Mature beyond his years...
tejadatiger
spacer Re: Mature beyond his years...
bigmo
spacer Thanks for the article. Amazing character and a wonderful
toriaj
spacer Re: Watkins wanted to be a Tiger since sophomore year
TigerHawk76®
spacer Re: Watkins wanted to be a Tiger since sophomore year
clay1029
spacer Don't be an idiot...
deleted
spacer Re: Don't be an idiot...
clay1029
spacer Re: Don't be an idiot...
deleted
spacer Re: Don't be an idiot...
clay1029
spacer No college football team has perfect angels...
deleted
spacer This peecock is obviously sitting on his
David78®
spacer Re: Don't be an idiot...
sleepa007
spacer Re: Don't be an idiot...
insanetigerfan08
spacer You've gone 0-11 with sh!tty character guys... How'd that
ClemsonMike830
spacer Re: Don't be an idiot...
armsb
spacer Re: Watkins wanted to be a Tiger since sophomore year
insanetigerfan08
spacer Re: Watkins wanted to be a Tiger since sophomore year
TigerHawk76®
spacer Re: Watkins wanted to be a Tiger since sophomore year
CUalum79ALLn65®
spacer Re: Watkins wanted to be a Tiger since sophomore year
rundahill
spacer Fire Brad Scott!***
Smiling Tiger®
spacer That young man has got it together. He will be a great one.***
amandadale77®
spacer Got to give it up for Brad Scott on this one
charlotteobserver2662
spacer Re: Got to give it up for Brad Scott on this one
87tygr®
spacer I think the anti Brad crowd really didn't realize what
tigertrain®
spacer Thats kind of BS if you think about it. If you guys remember
ArmyRanger28®
spacer He said he knew it in his mind.***
deleted
spacer Lol. So he told rivals & scout a fake top 5 for 2 years but
ArmyRanger28®
spacer I mean i'm not bashin the kid, he can blow as much smoke as
ArmyRanger28®
spacer So, that was at the very end of his soph year, right?
David78®
spacer no? it was after his junior year summer 2010 before we
ArmyRanger28®
spacer if youre class of 2011, your senior season is played in 2010
ArmyRanger28®
spacer Re: if youre class of 2011, your senior season is played in 2010
David78®
spacer Re: Lol. So he told rivals & scout a fake top 5 for 2 years but
sleepa007
spacer yes but he didn't commit until oct, november of 2010
ArmyRanger28®
spacer ^^^^^^^reads too many recruiting magazines^^^^^^^^^***
josephg®
spacer no? just read tigernet & tigerillustrated?***
ArmyRanger28®
spacer Re: Thats kind of BS if you think about it. If you guys remember
armsb
spacer Dang what a stud! And why go into his parent's occupations?
Caddie
spacer HAHA thought the same thing.***
ArmyRanger28®
spacer He was classier than me. I'd said none of your business.***
Caddie
spacer How good was that?!
David78®
spacer Re: Watkins wanted to be a Tiger since sophomore year
jerseytiger1980
spacer Re: Watkins wanted to be a Tiger since sophomore year
sleepa007
spacer Can Brad Scott still recruit for us?***
BentZero
spacer Re: Can Brad Scott still recruit for us?***
SolidOrange007
spacer What a great kid***
ptidon
spacer Re: Watkins wanted to be a Tiger since sophomore year
CUalum79ALLn65®
spacer Re: Watkins wanted to be a Tiger since sophomore year
Solid_orange15
spacer Nice first post!***
tiger_swimmer®
spacer Re: Watkins wanted to be a Tiger since sophomore year
Tigger4life
spacer Re: Watkins wanted to be a Tiger since sophomore year
rundahill
spacer Kind of game me the chills and inspired me....
estebanrocks
spacer Great, inspirational article. Go Sammy! Livin' the dream.***
Razzmatazz
spacer This kid is an inspiration...he wears my favorite number...
iTiger
spacer Good Lord, this kid seems to have his act together.
tigertrain®
spacer Why did that guy ask about his parents' jobs?
lds7701
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