Watkins, who was voted to the media's All-ACC first-team, is a finalist for the Biletnikoff Award. He's caught 85 passes for 1,237 yards with 10 touchdowns this season.
For his career, Watkins has 224 catches for 3,164 yards with 25 touchdowns.
"Sammy Watkins is a top 10 pick," said Dabo Swinney. "I'd be surprised if he came back. But I didn't think [C.J.] Spiller was coming back."
Heck, Watkins might have been a top 10 pick after his freshman season.
With his departure, there could be a serious changing of the guard at the wide receiver position for Clemson. Because it's also possible that Martavis Bryant will forego his senior season, too.
If both are gone, next year's starting wide receiver trio could be Adam Humphries, Charone Peake and Mike Williams. Behind them will be sophomores Germone Hopper, T.J. Green and a host of freshmen.
Even without the addition of Josh Malone, the 2014 Clemson wide receiver class is a strong one. Four-star prospects Artavis Scott and Demarre Kitt are ranked by Scout.com as the No. 25 and 29 wide receivers in the country, respectively. Plus, there's Kyrin Priester, a three-star prospect in 2013, who spent this fall at Fork Union Military Academy.
And, of course, the Tigers are still in the mix for four-star Trevion Thompson, who's making his official visit to Clemson next month.
According to Watkins, the wide receiver group has a bright future, even if he's not going to be apart of it.
CUTigers recently asked Watkins for his take on the incoming four-star prospects, both of whom have signed financial aid agreements with Clemson.
"I've watched film on both of those guys. They're very quick and they've showed some resemblance in Germone Hopper and myself," Watkins said.
In his career at East Lake High School in Tarpon Springs, Fla., Scott has caught 170 passes for 3,033 yards with 32 touchdowns. He's also got 900 yards rushing and 14 touchdowns on the ground.
Kitt, in his junior and senior seasons at Sandy Creek High School [Tyrone, Ga.], had 116 catches for 2,012 yards and 29 scores.
"They can definitely be a big part of this offense with their speed and agility. I think they'll make a mark in this offense," Watkins said.
To get off on the right foot, Watkins said the four-star duo should just watch him, Bryant and DeAndre Hopkins.
"They've just got to come in, prepare, be ready to learn and watch tape on the years that we had Nuk, watch tape on me, Martavis," Watkins said. "They'll definitely learn a lot on the tape from us in games.
In good hands
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