Dabo Swinney could feel it coming.
Sammy Watkins, before and since his springtime arrest that cost him two games to begin the season, had done all the right things.
He practiced hard, he played hard. He led. And he was making a difference for the Tigers.
But until last Thursday night, Watkins as still looking to hit his stride - the stride that made him one of college football's most dangerous and decorated wide receivers as a freshman.
"People expect him to just do the superhuman stuff because that's what he's made look easy," said Swinney Wednesday on the ACC coaches' teleconference. "He hadn't had moments like that yet. But I knew it was just a matter of time."
Watkins has, so far, taken the second half of Clemson's season and run with it: back-to-back eight-reception games, and a school-record 202 yards against Wake Forest.
"He's played four and a half games now," Swinney said. "He's kind of settling in. As I said last week, we're going to need him to play great down the stretch for us to have the type of finish we want to have.
"It was good to see him be able to make some of those plays that people expect him to make - running away from people, breaking tackles, that type of stuff. But, again, as I tell people all the time, he impacts the game regardless of what the stat column says."
Swinney said that while Watkins showed that he's 'back' against Wake Forest, it's been coming on for a while.
"He really had not played bad," said Swinney. "He played great in the first game (Furman), he just didn't play a whole lot. One of his first touches went for a touchdown. He didn't play great at Florida State, and that's when he was starting to get a little sick, which we didn't know. Next thing you know, he's out another game.
"Then he came back, and I thought he played pretty doggone good against Virginia Tech. He had over a hundred yards, all-purpose, and did some good things for us.
"I certainly didn't expect him to go have 200-something yards, but I thought he would play well against Wake Forest, and he did."