Posted by Bryan Fischer
Clemson is undefeated and in the top 10 with a good chance of capturing an ACC title this year thanks in large part to true freshman Sammy Watkins. While he's made an impact on the offensive side of the ball, head coach Dabo Swinney added another Watkins (no relation) who he hopes can make an impact early on the defensive side of the ball after Forest City (N.C.) defensive tackle Carlos Watkins committed to the Tigers Friday night.
"They treated me like family down there," Watkins told Tigerillustrated.com. "It's only an hour and a half away, so distance is a factor and I'm a family man. I also really like the season they are having."
Heavily recruited by Florida, the 6-foot-4, 280-pounder is ranked as the 19th-best defensive tackle in the country by MaxPreps. Although he took several trips to Gainesville to unofficially visit, Watkins knew he wanted to commit to Clemson well before this past week.
"I told coach Swinney (I would silently commit) at the Auburn game," he said. "It was just me and him talking and he didn't tell anyone else."
Watkins is the 19th commitment for the Tigers' class of 2012 and is part of a highly rated defensive line group that only gets better with his pledge.
"He shows quick hands and the ability to dominate against the run," analyst Tom Lemming said. "Not yet a great pass rusher but he more than makes up for it with his desire, strength, and ability to collapse the pocket. Quick and powerful off the snap, he shows good balance after initial contact, keeps his pads low, and is always moving forward."