Sunday Clemson football notebook

CLEMSON - Midway through the 2013 campaign, Bashaud Breeland was forced to do the last thing he wants to do during football season.

After suffering a groin injury against Virginia Tech, Breeland missed the Wake Forest game. He played sparingly in the next three contests before sitting out the regular season finale against South Carolina and the bowl win over LSU.

"I don't like sitting out. I like to play. I don't like to miss games, miss practice, none of that," Breeland said.

But he had to. It became all too apparent during bowl practice that needed to shut it down.

"I came back to bowl practice and I couldn't compete," Breeland said. "I was looking bad, and I don't like looking bad. I realized that it was my time to sit down and recover."

After undergoing offseason surgery to repair the injury, Breeland's back in the fold this spring.

"I was ready during all-in drills and everything," he said. "I was ready to compete and just go full speed. There was a little pain here and there. But it's only scar tissue. I can play through it."

More on Sammy's switch

On Friday afternoon, we published a story about Watkins' move from the 2-poisition to the 9-poisition, where he and Chad Morris discussed the switch.

A good portion of that dealt with Tajh Boyd and Watkins "getting on the same page."

Here are a few more thoughts from Morris' perspective: "It's going to take well in to summer and some hard, hard work by Sammy and those guys, those receivers, to be on the same page.

"We're not there right now. We see, again, we see spurts. We see flashes. These guys have a lot of work to do this summer. All we're doing in preparing them and getting them ready to go, finding out those that will and those that won't."

As we saw over the last couple of seasons, it's ultra-critical for the quarterback and receiver to be on the same page. Many of those highlight reel plays from 2012 were a product of that familiarity between Boyd and DeAndre Hopkins.

"How many times were Tajh and Nuk on the same page? Whether it's a back-shoulder throw, a throw over the top, a hitch, whatever it may be. All of that is a feel for each other," Morris said. "You do that through repetition. I'm talking about thousands and thousands of balls being thrown his way this summer. It's going to have to happen."

Hometown familiarity

Watkins is very familiar with two of the top additions to Clemson's 2013 class -- cornerback Mackensie Alexander and safety Jayron Kearse.

Alexander and Watkins grew up about an hour apart from one another. And they matched up against one another during a high school spring game. Kearse transferred from Cypress Lake High School to South Fort Myers Watkins' alma mater-- for his senior season.

Both four-star freshmen could play early at Clemson, Watkins said, after adding a caveat.

"It's up to them. Those are great players," Watkins said. "I watched them play several times. I played against Mackensie his freshman year. He was jawing off. That's what he does. I think he could actually come in here and make a direct impact, him and Jayron Kearse.

"It's up to them. How they approach the game, how they attack the film and just listen to the coaches. I just told them to come and not talk to anybody. Just go about your business...they've just got to come in with a work mentality, not complain and just work."

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