Big man on campus

CLEMSON - Freshman wide receiver Sammy Watkins has officially achieved celebrity status. He has the nicknames, t-shirts, one-on-one interview with Erin Andrews and rap song to prove it.

That celebrity followed him back home to Fort Myers, Fla. last weekend.

"It was great being around my family," Watkins said. "Then I went to the [South Fort Myers High School] game, it was kind of the same thing when I was after the game here. I was trying to get away from it."

It comes with the territory when you're the No. 1 wide receiver for the No. 9 team in the country.

"People actually come out to beat us. We're one of the top teams. We're not the underdogs anymore," Watkins said.

RETURN TO NORMALCY: Dawson Zimmerman is ready to see things like they once were in the ACC -- like they were in the 80's.

"I think all of us, especially for the seniors, we've heard for the last four or five years, it's been 20 years since we've won a championship, he said. "I think all of us are pretty motivated to try to end that streak, especially just knowing the heritage of Clemson University and knowing this is something that needs to return to normal."

Clemson is on the brink of playing in yet another ACC title game. A win over Wake Forest on Saturday would vault the Tigers into a second ACC Championship in three years.

The senior punter thought back to the title game in 2009.

"I don't think either team punted, which was a weird thing," he said. "Hopefully, if we win this game and are fortunate to go to the championship game --well, hopefully I won't have to punt, but I would like to play."

QUITE A CHANGE: According to Dalton Freeman, there's a big difference in last year's Wake Forest defense and this year's.

"Coach [Jim] Grobe does a good job of recruiting and developing," Freeman said. "They're much more athletic. They have a better understanding of the scheme this year, I believe. They're going to present a good challenge to us."

Wake Forest, like Clemson's previous opponent, runs a 3-4 base defense.

"It's a defense a lot like Georgia Tech. It's good that we're seeing them back-to-back, so we'll know what to expect," Freeman said. Top Stories