If you had “junior year” in the “When will Sammy Watkins finally become a true wide receiver” poll, collect your winnings. He’s becoming as yappy as every other receiver to play the position at his level, and his teammates might not appreciate that.
The Clemson star is writing checks he and the rest of the Tigers will have to cash on Aug. 31 when the Georgia Bulldogs come to Death Valley. UGA, a team that came within three or so yards of the national title game, suddenly isn’t expected to be competitive against Clemson.
At least in the eyes of Sammy Watkins, that is.
“If we come out and beat Georgia, not just beat ’em but beat the mess out of ’em like we should, I don’t see no problems in getting started in the right direction,” he told reporters. “I don’t have disrespect for them or for nobody else, I just believe we can be just the kind of team we want to be, the talent is here, we know how to win.”
The second sentence of that quote should hold the same weight as the first sentence. Clearly, Watkins realized he stepped a little too far over the line with his expectation to smoke Georgia. But there’s a couple of things to ponder in this offseason statement.
First, for whatever reason, Watkins thinks the Chick-Fil-A Bowl champs should be held in higher regard than the team that nearly beat national champion Alabama. The Dawgs return quarterback Aaron Murray and a rushing attack that the Clemson defense won’t be able to stop. So right off the bat, Watkins is assuring his fans that his offense will be better than one of the best attacks in the nation, by a lot.
Also, Watkins has a lot more pressure to stay healthy and produce in 2013 than he did a year ago. When he missed several games in 2012, it was no biggie because Clemson had receiver DeAndre Hopkins to carry the load. They had running back Andre Ellington to balance the attack. Now, it’s on Watkins’ shoulders to be the star player. They don’t need him talking; They need him producing quietly like he did the last two seasons.
If he gets caught up in the chatter and hype, Clemson won’t be in the national title race for long.
Talk is cheap this time of year, and I don’t think Watkins’ words mean much more than bulletin-board material for the Dawgs.
One can hope it helps Clemson drop Game 1, though.