It has to be difficult for Clemson stud wide receiver Sammy Watkins to stay focused during the dog days of fall camp.
After being suspended by coach Dabo Swinney for the first two games of the regular season following a drug-related arrest, Watkins will not make the trip to the Georgia Dome for the Tigers game against Auburn.
Watkins will partake in meetings and game planning for the game against Auburn, but will have to watch the game from home while his teammates open the year with a big non-conference game.
It has to be extremely tough on Watkins knowing he can’t contribute at the beginning of the season. But in the end, he has no one to blame but himself.
Watkins received high praise last season as he bursted on to the scene as a freshman. His maturity and poise stood out for his age while reporters chomped at the bit to get a story on him. He was electrifying and was a big part in Clemson making it to the Orange Bowl.
Now he has to readjust his attitude and help out anyway he can for his teammates. It’s going to be crucial for Watkins to mentor the Tigers young wideouts so they will be ready if they are called on to contribute against Auburn.
With Watkins absence junior wideout DeAndre Hopkins will need to step up and show some leadership for the offense. Hopkins finished the 2011 season with 72 receptions for 978 yards with five touchdowns.
Even though the Heisman is basically long gone for Watkins, he still needs to remain focused for the Tigers to have a shot at winning the ACC and making it to another big bowl game.
Will Wilson is a writer for Rant Sports covering College Football and the Big Ten Conference.