The suspension is the result of his arrest this past May.
Watkins will miss the season opener against 25th ranked Auburn in
Atlanta on September 1 and the home opener against Ball State on
September 8. Watkins had 10 receptions for 155 yards and two touchdowns
in Clemson's 38-24 win over Auburn last year.
"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," said Head Coach Dabo Swinney. "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
"The game of football, or a game of football will never be more
important to me than teaching young people important life lessons. 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 peoples
lives. I look forward to having number-two back on the field soon."
Watkins is the preseason ACC Player of the Year and has been listed on
many preseason All-America teams. He is also on the Watch list for the
Hornung Award (top all-purpose player), the Maxwell Award and the Walter
Camp Award, which go to the top player in college football.
"I accept this suspension," said Watkins. "I made a mistake and realized
that when this first happened. One thing we learn in this program is
that there are consequences for your actions. The entire summer has
been a learning experience. I am ready to get past this and look
forward to September 15 when I can return to game day in Death Valley."
Last year Watkins was a first-team AP All-American as an all-purpose
player, the fourth true freshman in college football history to be a
first-team AP All-American. He had 82 receptions for 1219 yards and 12
touchdowns. The yardage and touchdown figures were Clemson single
season records. He also ranked fourth in the nation in all-purpose
yards per game with 176.0. He was also named National Freshman of the
Year by multiple services.
Sammy Watkins release
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