CLEMSON — Clemson rising sophomore star wide receiver Sammy Watkins was arrested early Friday morning by the Clemson University Police Department after police reportedly found pills and marijuana in his car, the Independent Mail confirmed today.
Watkins was with Amadou-Tidiane Daniel Dia, a sophomore on Clemson's men's soccer team. Watkins' car, a 1999 Cadillac with temporary Florida tags, was stopped when an officer saw it scrape against a curb on campus and noticed that its temporary license tag was not illuminated, according to the university. When the officer pulled the car over, he smelled marijuana, according to reports, and during a search the officer found marijuana and two schedule 2 controlled substances for which Watkins could not produce a prescription.
The pills reportedly were Adderall and lisdexanfetamine (Vyvanase), both of which are prescribed to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder or ADHD.
The two were arrested and taken to the Clemson City Jail, where they were held overnight. Watkins was charged with possession of a controlled substance and possession of marijuana, according to the university. He was released Friday morning after posting a $1,620 personal recognizance bond. Dia, craged with possession of marijuana, was released after posting a $620 personal recognizance bond.
In a statement, Clemson coach Dabo Swinney said Friday he was aware of the arrest and in the "process of gathering facts." He said that discipline for Watkins will be handed down when that process is complete.
"I am mad and hurt by the poor decision that Sammy Watkins made," Swinney said. "He is a good young man who has been a model student, citizen, player and teammate. This is a reminder that good people make poor decisions. But, there are consequences for your actions... and there will be in this case."
Watkins expressed regret for the arrest in a statement.
"I made a mistake last night and I am truly sorry for my actions. I let the team down, the coaches down and this university down. I will learn from this," he said. "I will accept any discipline Coach Swinney and the university issues.”
Clemson athletic director Terry Don Phillips also issued a statement on the matter.
“I was made aware of the arrest of these two student-athletes early this morning,” he said. “From a departmental standpoint I have been in consultation with both coaches today and will continue to over the next few days regarding this situation.”
Clemson men's soccer coach Mike Noonan said he was also "disappointed" in Dia.
“I am in the process of collecting the facts in the case involving Amadou Dia,” he said. “I am obviously very disappointed. His actions go against the values of the Clemson men’s soccer program and there will be disciplinary action.”
Watkins is one of college football’s top returning offensive players and one of its most versatile. The website Heismanpundit.com named him one of 18 players to watch in the fall, along with junior quarterback Tajh Boyd, for the Heisman Trophy.
He was a consensus national freshman of the year, catching 82 passes for 1,219 yards and 12 touchdowns, while running 33 kick returns for 826 yards and an 89-yard touchdown, averaging 25 yards per return.
He set ACC freshman records in yardage, receiving and touchdowns last fall and was a key to Clemson’s first ACC championship since 1991.
He was named as a first-team Associated Press All-American as a specialist, one of only three true freshmen ever to earn that honor.
The other two were Georgia tailback Herschel Walker and Oklahoma tailback Adrian Peterson.