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AP source: Watkins, 2 other Tigers to NFL

Published on NewsOK Modified: January 5, 2014 at 4:26 pm •  Published: January 5, 2014
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Clemson wide receiver Sammy Watkins is off to the NFL.

A person familiar with the wideout's decision said the record-setting Watkins would give up his final year with the Tigers to enter the NFL draft. The person requested anonymity since the school had not officially announced Watkins' intentions.

The source also said two other Tigers in receiver Martavis Bryant and cornerback Bashaud Breeland were also giving up the rest of their college eligibility for the NFL.

Watkins, a 6-foot-1, 205-pound junior from Fort Myers, Fla., has been an electrifying performer since he arrived on campus before the 2011 season. He had 82 catches for 1,219 yards and 12 touchdowns as a freshman to help Clemson win its first Atlantic Coast Conference title in two decades.

Watkins tailed off as a sophomore because of a drug-related suspension and illness, but was back to his first-year form this past fall. He set a Clemson record with 101 catches for 1,464 yards. His receptions topped the school mark of 88 set by Aaron Kelly in 2007.

Watkins' yards moved him past former teammate DeAndre Hopkins, who left a year early after the 2012 season and became a first-round draft pick of the Houston Texans.

Watkins saved one of his best showings for last, finishing with 16 catches for 227 yards and two TDs in No. 12 Clemson's 40-35 victory over No. 7 Ohio State in the Orange Bowl for the Tigers' first win in a BCS bowl.

"I've definitely been blessed with great coaches and a great quarterback (Tajh Boyd) the past three years," Watkins said after the Orange Bowl. "It's not all about me."

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