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Dabo would ‘be surprised’ if Sammy Watkins returned

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Entering 2013, most observers outside the Clemson football program assumed this would be Sammy Watkins‘ final season with the Tigers.

Tuesday, one of the most in-the-know individuals inside the program concurred with that assumption.

As it does every year around this time with the clock wing down on another season, the questioning of head coach Dabo Swinney turned to Watkins and the wide receiver’s future in Orange & White.  Instead of hemming and hawing around the issue, Swinney was blunt in his assessment of where he thinks Watkins will wind up playing football in 2014.

“He’s a Top 10 pick to me,” Swinney said of the April 2014 NFL draft. “I’d be surprised if he came back, but who knows?  I didn’t think C.J. Spiller was coming back.”

Spiller surprised most everyone, including those close to him, by returning to Clemson for his senior season and eschewing what would’ve been a first-round spot in the 2009 NFL draft; he was the No. 9 pick in the 2010 draft.

It’s highly doubtful, though, lightning will strike twice for Swinney.

Watkins, eligible for the 2014 draft as he’ll be three years removed from high school, is widely viewed as one of the top receivers who could possibly be available next April.  Most mock drafts have Watkins slotted comfortably inside the Top 15, with stock that’s expected to do nothing but rise once combine season rolls around.

For his part, Watkins, who is closing in on yet another handful of school receiving records, is not giving much public lip service to next year quite yet.  He does, though, sound like a player who knows he’s in the midst of a season-long audition.

“As a coach and as a player, we don’t know where I would go in the draft. It’s kind of a tricky system,” Watkins said. “All I can do is keep playing hard and give the scouts what they’re looking for, and everything will work out in the end.”

Watkins, as will be the case with multiple other draft-eligible players in a similar situation, will likely submit his paperwork to the NFL draft advisory council at some point in the near future.  Those players, including Watkins, will have until mid-January to formally declare their intention to leave eligibility on the table and enter the draft or return for another season at the collegiate level.

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13 Responses to “Dabo would ‘be surprised’ if Sammy Watkins returned”
  1. classyjacklambert says: Oct 30, 2013 9:28 AM

    Yeah he’s gone. Can’t blame him, guaranteed first rounder.

  2. mrsmell says: Oct 30, 2013 10:48 AM

    There is absolutely no reason to stay. No way, Clemson even gets close to the playoff system next year with Taj hitting the market too. This was supposed to be their year, til Jameis made Taj wish he went to the NFL last year.

  3. longtallsam says: Oct 30, 2013 11:05 AM

    Don’t bet on that. Clemson’s backup QB is more than capable of being an excellent starter next year, and they have a lot of young players on both sides of the ball, who will get better.

  4. spacemaker101 says: Oct 30, 2013 11:18 AM

    ….. No this was there year sorry.

  5. patriottony says: Oct 30, 2013 11:24 AM

    Both of Clemsons NEXT in Line QB’s have vary Familiar names: Stoudt,,and Kelly,,,both have well known NFL QB’s in their Family. Stoudt is a well hidden talent…as is Kelly. Don’t be too shocked about being WRONG!!!

  6. jonkybon says: Oct 30, 2013 1:51 PM

    Clemson also has a strong commitment from the #1 QB prospect in 2014. DeShaun Watson is rated higher than Winston was, but that doesn’t mean crap except for potential. Let’s also not forget that Chad Kelly, currently on the roster won the Punt, Pass and Kick competition seven times. Clemson also has two RB’s redshirting this year Dye and Gallman who are both studs.

    The real loss for Clemson will be #2, Sammy Watkins, who is clearly the best (my opinion) WR to ever play in the state of SC.

  7. jets12 says: Oct 30, 2013 2:24 PM

    I’m a little teapot, short and stout…

  8. sssjim7 says: Oct 30, 2013 2:35 PM

    “Best WR to ever play in the state of SC”, eh? Hrm… I’ll give ya one of the best… not sure about the best, though… I watched AJ Green from Summerville light up the field in HS, college at Georgia and now the NFL… (and since I went to Summerville High school, I am definitely biased… )

    But yeah, he will probably be leaving…

    Just my .02
    ~Jim

  9. jonkybon says: Oct 30, 2013 2:49 PM

    sssjim,

    My bad. I should have been more specific and said WR from a SC college as Green, like you said, played at UGA and Watkins is actually from Florida.

  10. jets12 says: Oct 30, 2013 8:01 PM

    I’m a little teapot, short and stout…

  11. jets12 says: Oct 30, 2013 8:36 PM

    Well it seems I have a problem. If it is what I think I will be contacting law enforcement as what has been done is definitely against the law. Hacking is not cool. But we shall see.

  12. classyjacklambert says: Oct 30, 2013 8:48 PM

    Is that what is going on? I thought you just liked the tea pot song.

  13. jets12 says: Oct 30, 2013 8:52 PM

    No. No tea pot for me. But I do like green tea from Starbucks. I have already started the process to find out what happened and who it might be. Just can’t imagine who but we will see.

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