Watkins, Clemson's sensational true freshman wide receiver, has not performed like a typical 18-year-old this season. The first-year player has made several highlight-reel plays, but it's the maturity behind those plays that has stood out.
Noticing the Florida State defensive backs were overplaying the slant route two weeks ago, Watkins went to offensive coordinator Chad Morris is a story related by Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer.
Watkins' advice to Morris was to "run 'Sluggo,' slang for a slant-and-go pattern once the defense commits," writes Bonnell. "And a third-and-4 situation became a huge gain."
Watkins and the Tigers host BC on Saturday in an ACC game that will be televised live on NESN at 3 p.m.
This time a year ago, Watkins was playing for South Fort Myers High School, helping run the Wildcat formation to the AAA state semifinals. He enters Saturday's contest with 31 receptions for 471 yards and six touchdowns.
If Watkins were all the Eagles had to worry about, BC might be in better position against the the eighth-ranked Tigers. Unfortunately for BC, the Tigers are stacked at multiple positions and may be the hottest team in college football. With last week's victory over then-11th-ranked Virginia Tech, the Tigers are the first ACC team ever to beat ranked teams three weeks in a row, and the Eagles are decidedly not a top 25 program.
The Eagles have mustered just 329.8 yards per game and now face a defense that held the Hokies without a touchdown at home for the first time since 1995. That defense is led by senior defensive end Andre Branch, who has 34 total tackles (eight tackles for a loss) and five sacks.
The Eagles have a lot to worry about against Clemson, so here's a small piece of advice: Don't bite too hard on those slant routes.
Check out former Ohio State running back Eddie George talking about why he's liked Clemson from the get-go in the video below.
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