Most folks, including Swinney, believe that Watkins, a five-star wide receiver, is gone.
Stephone Anthony, a five-star linebacker, and a three-year starter, has wrestled with the decision. So has Martavis Bryant, a four-star wide receiver.
Though Vic Beasley was a three-star in the 2010 class, a redshirt and a couple of position changes have left him in the same boat.
A little more than 72 hours before some of those guys begin the final Clemson game of their respective careers, Swinney was asked about the process of advising his players to stay or go.
"I've always been consistent with that. I think, unless you're a first-round guy, you'd benefit coming back," Swinney said. "I just think, form a business standpoint, a down-the-road standpoint in life, finishing school, further developing yourself, especially the opportunity to move up."
Watkins received a first-round grade from the NFL Draft Advisory Board. Beasley picked up a second-round grade. Bryant told reporters he didn't know his and Anthony elected to not comment.
"I've met with everybody, but we'll worry about that when the game is over," Swinney said.
That's when all four players said they would announce their decision, to stay or go.
"[Beasley's] a guy, I think, that has legitimate high first-round ability, but he's got some things he's got to do to put himself there," Swinney said. "But, again, that's for each one of those guys to make a decision. Whatever decision they make, I support them. They don't owe me anything. I just want what's best for them."
The most important position in sportsThere is no other position in all of sports that has the same kind of responsibility, profile and potential for glory that comes with playing quarterback.
Clemson has seen a few good ones this year: Aaron Murray, Jameis Winston and Connor Shaw. They'll get to play against one more on Friday when Braxton Miller trots onto the field at Sun Life Stadium.
On Tuesday morning, Grady Jarrett was asked about playing against top-quality quarterbacks this season.
"Against top quarterbacks, you can't make mistakes," he said. "You have to capitalize on opportunities that you get. When you're going against the best players in the nation, there's not a lot of room for error.
"I feel like going up against the quarterbacks we have faced, it has prepared us. But I feel like we are going up against a whole different animal in Braxton Miller, because he just bring so much to the table."
Strong talentThis year, the Clemson team hotel is Fontainebleau, which sits in the heart of Miami Beach. Word is, the talent is strong, real strong. And we're not talking about the caliber of football players.
"It's no secret, the distractions that are in south Florida," Anthony said.
He added, "The scenery, if you're not careful, this place can wow you."
Corey Crawford said discretion is the key.
"You've just got to know your limits. If you feel like you're fixing to do something you've got know business doing, you know to get up out of there," he said. "I feel like we've been pretty focused."
Two nights in, there haven't been any issues.
"We haven't had any distractions. Nobody has gotten in trouble since we've been here, everybody has been on time for curfew," Crawford said. "I feel like everybody has been focused, ready to play this game, knowing that we've got to take care of business."
Reservations for twoAmong the events organized by the Orange Bowl for each team is a trip to a Brazilian steakhouse. On Tuesday night, the Clemson players took their appetites to Texas de Brazil in Miami Beach.
A pair of guards, the 320-pound David Beasley and the 340-pound Kalon Davis, might be the team's biggest eaters.
"Kalon and Beasley could eat a small car, probably," Swinney said. "They're some big boys.
"But, you know, some of those little guys will surprise you now. You'll get some of those little guys and you're like, ‘There's no way he can eat that much. Where's he putting it?'"