"Coming out of spring practice, Anthony Waters really separated himself from Nick Watkins, but it's not a situation where I'm ready to say 'absolutely he's the guy,'" said linebackers coach David Blackwell.
Watkins was a three-year starter at linebacker and team captain during his senior year at Karr High School. He redshirted his freshman year at Clemson but figures to see a lot of action this season.
Watkins is a surprisingly strong linebacker that has made a great first impression on the Clemson coaching staff. Despite naming Anthony Waters ahead of Watkins on the post-spring depth chart, linebackers' coach David Blackwell says they'll both compete for a spot on the first team. "I thought both of those guys did some good things for us this spring and they'll both be trying to get that starting spot this fall," said Blackwell.
Watkins recorded seven tackles in the April 3rd scrimmage and four tackles in the Orange & White game this past spring. He currently sits on the second team at the JACK linebacker position behind Anthony Waters.
Watkins is one of two Tigers from Louisiana (Curtis Baham) currently on the roster. He also very strong, even as a redshirt freshman. He can already bench press nearly 400 pounds and squat 495.
"Coming out of spring practice, Anthony Waters really separated himself from Nick Watkins, but it's not a situation where I'm ready to say 'absolutely he's the guy,'" said Blackwell. "He hasn't taken the job yet. It's close enough to say that I'm not ready to name a definite starter."
Nick Watkins, listed as a back up entering the start of fall practice, will battle redshirt sophomore Anthony Waters for playing time this year. While Waters may have the advantage right now, it doesn't mean he'll keep it throughout the season.