Clemson's Watkins says he's entering NFL draft

Published on NewsOK Modified: January 6, 2014 at 2:58 pm •  Published: January 6, 2014
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Clemson's record-setting wide receiver Sammy Watkins says he's headed to the NFL.

The 6-foot-1, 205-pound junior from Fort Myers, Fla., confirmed reports that he's leaving school, saying Monday that he is entering May's NFL draft.

"After much prayerful consideration, I have decided to take the next step in pursuing my lifelong dream of playing in the NFL," Watkins said in a statement released by Clemson.

Watkins has set 23 school records in three seasons. He finished his career as the most outstanding player of the Orange Bowl. He caught 16 passes for 227 yards and two touchdowns in No. 12 Clemson's 40-35 win over seventh-ranked Ohio State.

Watkins is considered the top receiver prospect available and a top-15 selection in the NFL draft.

Watkins leaves as the school's all-time leader with 240 receptions, 3,391 receiving yards and 15 games with 100 or more yards. His 27 career touchdowns tied the Clemson mark of former teammate DeAndre Hopkins, who left after his junior season last year and became a first-round draft pick of the Houston Texans.

Watkins was an instant sensation from the moment he walked on campus in 2011, helping the Tigers to an 8-0 start and their first Atlantic Coast Conference title in two decades. He was an AP All-American that season with 82 catches, 1,219 yards and 12 touchdowns.

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