The Confidential

The ACC Sports Blog

Archive for the tag “Sammy Watkins”

Clemson North

“The Cleveland Browns have traded the fourth pick to the Buffalo Bills. With the fourth pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, the Buffalo Bills select Sammy Watkins, wide receiver, Clemson.”

The Bills gave up their 2015 first and fourth round draft picks for that trade, talk about a bold move. General Manager Doug Whaley told Sammy they were going to draft him and clearly, he meant it. The Bills had the 9th pick, but waiting their turn was not an option if they were going to get their number one choice. This trade was more than just getting Sammy Watkins; it was a statement to the NFL and Bills fans everywhere. The Bills are going to make it to the playoffs this season.  Or bust. Let’s hope it’s not the latter.

From a Clemson standpoint, I love this pick. I was fortunate enough to watch CJ Spiller run over defenses as a Clemson Tiger for one season before he was drafted 9th overall by the Bills in 2010. I watched Sammy Watkins glide his way through secondary defenses countless times on his way to the end zone in that Tiger uniform and I am thrilled to see Spiller and Watkins as teammates next season.

“Clemson North” is what they are calling it, as the Bills now have five former Clemson Tigers on their roster. Running back, CJ Spiller, offensive linemen, Chris Hairston and Antoine McClain, safety, Jonathan Meeks, and now wide receiver, Sammy Watkins.

Sammy Watkins is a player so outstanding that he makes others around him better. To get EJ Manuel healthy and prepped for the 2014 season, there is no doubt Sammy is going to shine. He is on his way to scoring touchdowns on Sundays and I can’t wait to watch. He has been compared to Detroit Lions wide receiver, Calvin Johnson, but next fall Sammy Watkins will begin his professional legacy and players to come will be compared to him.

To all Bills fans out there, rejoice. Clemson Nation gives you Sammy Watkins and we only hope you grow to love him as much as we did (and still do).

The fun is not over for the Clemson faithful. Still left to be drafted are QB Tajh Boyd, WR Martavis Bryant, CB Brashad Breeland, and OL Brandon Thomas.

You can catch night two of the 2014 NFL Draft tonight on ESPN.

Highlights of the 2014 BCS Discover Orange Bowl

 

1.       Winning the 2014 BCS Orange Bowl—Awwwww yeah! It literally came down to the last minute when Ohio State was down 40-35 with the ball at the 50 yard line. Braxton Miller threw a beautiful interception, caught by Clemson’s own Stephone Anthony. This sealed the deal for the Tigers and bonus points: Urban Meyer didn’t react by punching Anthony in the throat.

2.       Tajh Boyd—In his final game as a Clemson Tiger, Tajh went out with a bang. As Dabo Swinney said, “He put an exclamation point on his legacy.” Tajh finished the game with five touchdowns and 505 all-purpose yards, 78 more yards than the Ohio State Buckeyes. We’re really going to miss his leadership and I can’t wait to see him play on Sunday’s.

3.       Dabo Swinney—You could probably make a highlight reel of just Dabo after the game, he was animated to say the least. Personally, his best moment was this magnificent sound bite, “we are the first team from the state of South Carolina to ever win a BCS game”. Ah yes, not only did we get the sweet victory but getting to rub it in Steve Spurrier’s face doesn’t hurt either. For whatever reason, if any Gamecocks are reading this, I say, suck it up. Spurrier is no angel in this fight. You’re mad because Dabo’s comment was the truth and it was said on a bigger national stage. You know, seeing as it was the stage of a BCS Bowl. BOOM, roasted.*

4. Sammy Watkins—Saving the best for last. Sammy set an Orange Bowl record with 16 receptions and a Clemson and Orange Bowl record with 227 receiving yards. He was unbelievable. With an average of 14.2 yards per catch, he was Tajh Boyd’s go to receiver and his talent is going to be greatly missed. As a true junior, Sammy has declared for the NFL Draft. While we’ll miss his lightning speed and magnetic hands, he’ll represent Clemson well in the NFL next season.

Honorable Mentions:

  • The Clemson Defense—While the score might reflect a shootout, it was truly entertaining watching the Tigers contain Ohio State QB, Braxton Miller, to a mere 35 yards rushing. They completely shut him down on the ground. With 18 carries, he rushed an average 1.9 yards per carry, his lowest of the season.
  • Santa Claus—if you read my last article, the only thing on my Christmas list was a Clemson win. Ole’ Saint Nick pulled through. Thanks big guy.
  • The Referee’s—One song comes to mind when trying to describe the officiating from Friday night, “these boys can’t hold us back, these boys can’t hold us back, we too deep (ay, ay)”. The anthem of a generation Clemson Football. Good try ref’s, you’ll need some more flags to stop this excessive celebration.

Check out the video here:

 

 

*Let the record show I have a much deeper opinion on this matter but for lack of reader attention span will not disclose it here.

Clemson Fans, Be Thankful

Thanksgiving is almost here and most people are busy thinking about the massive amounts of turkey they will be eating come Thursday. Clemson fans on the other hand, have one thing on the mind. Chicken. Garnet and Black chicken. Every year with Thanksgiving comes the Clemson Tigers vs. South Carolina Gamecocks* rivalry game, and every year, we are thankful.

Read more…

Clemson’s Sammy Watkins Out for Auburn Game

Unlike some teams, Clemson opens up the season with a tough matchup against Auburn in the Georgia Dome.  Unfortunately, they will have to do it without dynamic wide receiver Sammy Watkins, who was suspended for the first two games of the season because of his May misdemeanor arrest for marijuana possession.  Watkins will also miss Clemson’s home opener against Ball State.

Watkins had an outstanding freshmen season for Clemson, with 82 catches for 1219 yards and 12 touchdowns.  Watkins also added 229 yards rushing on only 31 carries–approximately 7 yards an attempt.  In addition, he returned 26 kickoffs for 683 yards.  On the season, Watkins led all ACC players in all-purposes yards with 2,228.  Only West Virginia’s Tavon Austin (2,574) and New Mexico State’s Taveon Rogers (2,356) had more all-purpose yards nationally.

Although his team will miss Watkins, Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney noted that Watkins exemplary post-incident conduct was a mitigating factor and that Watkins has learned from his mistake:

“I told Sammy this past May that there would be a high end (number of games) and a low end, and it would be up to him as to the length of his suspension,” Swinney said in a statement. “He has done everything we have asked and then some, so the two-game suspension is the low end. He just finished his responsibilities last week and I met with Bob Arial (Watkins’s lawyer) today to make sure everything had been completed properly.”

* * *

““The game of football, or a game of football will never be more important to me than teaching young people important life lessons,” Swinney said. “I have learned that many times something that seems to be the worst thing that can happen to you can become the best thing. I know Sammy will learn from this and use this to make a difference in other people’s lives. I look forward to having No.2 back on the field soon.”

Clemson has enough talent to still start out the season 2-0.  But that first game against Auburn just got that much tougher.

With all the discussion of “penalties” lately, one wonders if the best penalty for this situation wouldn’t have been to suspend Watkins for the Ball State and Furman games (game 3).  First, Watkins would be able to play in the Auburn game–the game where he is needed most.  That allows his teammates and fans to not share in Watkins’ punishment.  Second, missing the Ball State and Furman games would prevent Watkins from running up his stats in two games that would likely be high-scoring affairs (at least for Clemson).  This punishes the individual.  The Confidential thinks that forcing players to sit out stat-padding games is the best way to narrowly tailor the punishment to the player.

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