Watkins targeting Bullard

SPARTANBURG - CUTigers caught up with four-star defensive tackle commitment Carlos Watkins on Saturday, the day players reported for the Shrine Bowl, and there was plenty to talk about.

DT Carlos Watkins Profile

Joining him in Spartanburg for the 75th annual all-star game are several Clemson commitments and a few targets for the 2012 class.

One of the uncommitted guys in for the game is Jonathan Bullard, who's good friends with Watkins.

"I talk to him. I try not to bug him too much... I put a little bug in his ear," Watkins said.

He likes the Tigers chances of landing Bullard. Watkins will have plenty of reinforcements helping him with the four-star defensive end from Crest [Shelby, N.C.].

Bradley Pinion, Germone Hopper, Marty Williams, Ronald Geohaghan, Cordrea Tankersley, T.J. Burrell, Jay Jay McCullough, Patrick Destefano, Javarius Leamon and Oliver Jones make up the Clemson contingent playing in this year's game.

Watkins is excited about spending the next week with several of his future teammates.

"It's good. We're just getting a little brotherhood started before we go up there and play. It's real good that we get to know each other a little bit better," he said.

Several of the Clemson coaches keep in regular contact with Watkins, who will also play in the Army All-American Bowl.

"Coach [Dan] Brooks, coach [Kevin] Steele, I talk to coach [Dabo] Swinney every now and then. We stay in touch a lot," Watkins said.

They're consistent with their message to the No. 11 defensive tackle in the class of 2012.

"They tell me just to be ready," Watkins said. "They tell me I can do something that many freshman can't do, just come in and maybe start. They just tell me to get ready and be prepared for it."

The potential for early playing time was part of the appeal for Watkins, but there was more to his decision to commit to Clemson.

"It's just a great environment, a great program," Watkins said.

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