Sammy Watkins suspended for first two games of 2012

Clemson Football  - Sammy Watkins

Photo by Mark Crammer

Clemson Football - Sammy Watkins

— Dabo Swinney made official Friday night the punishment Clemson fans had waited all summer to hear.

Swinney announced Friday that sophomore wide receiver and returning national freshman of the year Sammy Watkins will miss the first two games of the 2012 season. The suspension is punishment for Watkins’ May arrest for possession of marijuana and drugs used to combat ADHD.

He will sit for the Sept. 1 opener against Auburn in Atlanta’s Georgia Dome and the Sept. 8 home opener against Ball State, returning for Sept. 15’s game against Furman.

“I told Sammy this past May that there would be a high end (number of games) and a low end, and it would be up to him as to the length of his suspension,” Swinney said in a statement. “He has done everything we have asked and then some, so the two-game suspension is the low end. He just finished his responsibilities last week and I met with Bob Arial (Watkins’s lawyer) today to make sure everything had been completed properly.”

Swinney hopes Watkins learns a lesson from his suspension.

““The game of football, or a game of football will never be more important to me than teaching young people important life lessons,” Swinney said. “I have learned that many times something that seems to be the worst thing that can happen to you can become the best thing. I know Sammy will learn from this and use this to make a difference in other people’s lives. I look forward to having No.2 back on the field soon.”

Swinney talks Watkins' punishment

Star sophomore sits the first two games

Watkins, the preseason ACC Player of the Year, accepted his punishment. He is also on the watch list for the Maxwell and Walter Camp Awards, which honor the top player in college football, and the Hornung Award, which honors the nation’s most versatile player.

“I made a mistake and realized that when this first happened,” Watkins said in a statement. “One thing we learn in this program is that there are consequences for your actions. The entire summer has been a learning experience. I am ready to get past this and look forward to September 15 when I can return to game day in Death Valley.”

The suspension could change the tenor of the much-anticipated season opener; Watkins burned AU for 10 receptions, 155 yards and two scores, holding a national coming-out party in Clemson’s 38-24 upset in Memorial Stadium last September.

He is the reigning national freshman of the year, one of only four true freshmen to be named first team Associated Press All-America and set ACC freshman records for receptions, yardage and touchdowns last fall, rolling up 82 receptions for 1,219 yards and 12 scores.

Sophomore Adam Humphries is expected to replace him in the starting lineup, with much of the offensive burden falling on junior DeAndre Hopkins, who Swinney called the MVP of Clemson’s spring.

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Comments » 9

savagetiger writes:

OUCH Dabo! Well I guess it goes to show no player is above Clemson. Hope Nuke, Brown and Bryant can handle the load.

Bleedsorange writes:

I'm not going to disagree with the punishment except keeping him out of the Auburn game punishes the team sitting him during ball state and Furman hurts his stats more because he will/would run all over them. Making it more of a Sammy punishment.

TigersN13 writes:

i think humphries is way underatted. here is a two-star prospect who's already ahead of bryant and peake. I garuntee you hes gonna step it up against auburn. prediction 75 yds on 7 catches and a td. you guys remember this cause ill b in the atl for this game, were gonna blow them out. clemson 45
auburn 17

waran writes:

The right decision and response. We love you Sammy, when you come back, you will be back stronger and more responsible as a better person.

Lets unite and support the team. Just imagine if we beat Auburn without Sammy.... No one will dream of beating us when Sammy returns. The first game is crucial. Hope Tajh, Nuke and Andre do what is expected from them and then some to compensate for Sammy's absence.

Go Dabbo and the Tigers.

NavyCUTigers writes:

This is how you make the best out of a bad situation. Waran summed it up best with "the right decision and response".

sentell112#284636 writes:

I feel the suspension is fair. I think Germone Hopper will lose his redshirt because of the suspension though I think they should move Charone Peake to that spot. He is tremendous with the ball in his hands. That would be the smart move if Hopper isn't ready. Humphries is okay, but that's it. Go Tigers & I hope the coaches make a smart decision!

Winnower writes:

So what we get drunk?
So what we smoke weed?
We’re just having fun
We don’t care who sees
So what we go out?
That’s how it's supposed to be
Living young and wild and free

TigerMarine writes:

in response to Winnower:

So what we get drunk?
So what we smoke weed?
We’re just having fun
We don’t care who sees
So what we go out?
That’s how it's supposed to be
Living young and wild and free

Yup that is the kind of stupidity that got us here. Yes winnower I would like fries and a drink with that.

brookesdad729 writes:

in response to TigersN13:

i think humphries is way underatted. here is a two-star prospect who's already ahead of bryant and peake. I garuntee you hes gonna step it up against auburn. prediction 75 yds on 7 catches and a td. you guys remember this cause ill b in the atl for this game, were gonna blow them out. clemson 45
auburn 17

I agree with you there. Humphries is a sure handed receiver. He may not have the speed but he will catch the ball when its thrown to him and make something out of nothing. That is definitely a diamond in the rough. Between him, Nuke and the rest, we should be fine for Auburn...its not like its a sudden injury to Sammy, so it actually gives us an advantage because they can put the game plan for Auburn in place with Adam and Nuke, Ford etc. We got a month to figure it out instead of a week! Go Tigers!

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