Watkins commits to Clemson

FOREST CITY, N.C. - On Friday night, four-star defensive tackle Carlos Watkins went public with his commitment to Clemson.

DT Carlos Watkins Profile

The nation's No. 11 defensive tackle, according to Scout.com, felt right at home in Tigertown.

"I'm family down there already," Watkins told CUTigers.com on Friday night. "That's pretty much it. I want to go where my parents liked. Pretty much, my whole family liked it."

In fact, his commitment was made several weeks ago.

"I made it at the Auburn game. I told coach Dabo Swinney when I went into his office there to talk to him."

"I made it at the Auburn game. I told coach Dabo Swinney when I went into his office there to talk to him," Watkins said. "It's been a while. I just held it to myself. It was still kind of open for Florida, but after I went down there, I [knew]."

After the game, Chase High School head coach Daniel Bailey put Watkins on the phone with Clemson defensive tackles coach Dan Brooks.

"He said, 'It's good to have you. Congratulations and I can't wait to get you down here,'" Watkins said of his conversation with Brooks, who served as his primary recruiter.

"We talked about some other stuff and I told him I was all in."

Bailey is confident that Watkins will excel at the next level.

"His feet are superb...he's 165 pound kid in a 290-pound body. He's so light on his feet," Bailey said.

And it's not just Watkins' tools on the field that will help him excel at the college level.

Carlos Watkins signs an autograph after announcing his commitment to Clemson. (Hale McGranahan)
"His mom and dad put him so far ahead of the game, by raising him the way that they did," Bailey said.

Now, Watkins is relieved to have the decision behind him.

"I felt like family [at Clemson]," he said. "They said, 'Are you all in?' And I felt like that. My family, they love, it's close to home, so I'm going to get a great deal out of it."

Clemson, which happened to be his first offer, was firmly in the mix from the get-go. But last season's struggles made the decision a little more difficult.

"They went 6-7 last year, but I was scared at first. I liked them, then they turned it around, so that helped things out a lot," Watkins said.

Tiger fans now shift their attention to his buddy, four-star defensive end Jonathan Bullard.

Might Watkins start to recruit Bullard?

"I'm not going to try to influence him where I go, because it's his own thing. I would like for him to come, but it's up to him," Watkins said.

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