Gearing up for one more

CLEMSON - Assuming that everything goes according to plan, Sammy Watkins won't be playing college football next season.

The All-American wide receiver isn't looking past his junior season at Clemson, but he can't help but wonder what life in the NFL might be like, particularly when two of his former teammates caught touchdown passes on Friday night.

DeAndre Hopkins had a 34-yard touchdown reception in the Texans' 27-13 win over the Vikings. Jaron Brown had a 1-yard scoring catch in the Cardinals' 17-0 win over the Packers.

"Nuk texted me last night, asked me did I see the catch. I went back this morning. I saw it on ESPN, one of the top plays. I saw it on TV, but it's a great experience to see one of my brothers go up there and make plays," Watkins said. "Him and Jaron just going up to the next level, having fun and making plays."

Watkins was noncommittal when it was suggested that he might be doing the same thing at this time next year.

"Hopefully, if everything works out, maybe," he said.

But there's business to tend to in Clemson.

So far, in what figures to be his final preseason camp in college, Watkins has been strong. He caught two passes for 104 yards during the first stadium scrimmage of the month. Both were touchdowns [65, 39].

"I've been known for making plays. I've just got to keep doing that same thing over, get that confidence back that I kind of lacked with not making many plays last year," Watkins said. "Now, I'm getting back in the groove catching balls. Tajh [Boyd] and I are getting that connection.

"I think it's going to be a big year for us."

Though Watkins caught both of his scrimmage touchdown passes while playing his old 2-position, he won't be staying in just one spot for too long once the season gets rolling.

"I've been moving around, in the slot, the 9-man," he said.

Watkins enjoys the multi-dimensional role that he'll occupy this season. And he doesn't mind working as a decoy to free up one of the other receivers or backs, especially when it results in six points.

"I like doing a dummy route sometimes, to get a free touchdown. I don't mind doing that. It's a team goal, a team effort," Watkins said.

It's possible that Watkins will be distracting opposing defensive backs from freshman Mike Williams, who has also turned heads during preseason camp.

"He's just like the freshmen when I came in -- great talent, raw talent, still has more to learn," Watkins said. "But, I think, when he gets back completely healthy, he'll be ready and prepared for the Georgia game. I know for a fact that he'll get a couple of plays against Georgia." Top Stories