Nothing's yet official, and won't be until after the Orange Bowl, but Sammy Watkins said today during a media session in advance of the Home Depot College Football Awards show that he's leaning toward giving up his final college season for the NFL.
Watkins' statement comes as no surprise, but is his strongest indication yet that he'll be playing his final game in the Clemson uniform against Ohio State.
Watkins, who is in Orlando as one of three finalists for the Biletnikoff Award as the nation's top receiver, said he's discussed his options thoroughly with Clemson coach Dabo Swinney.
“I talked to coach all this week," Watkins said. "I’m definitely going to announce something after the bowl game and have it out there. I’m going to talk to my parents about it.
"I’m a junior, and I easily could go back to school and finish classes and we definitely will have a decent team next year. I’ve just go to talk to my coaches and talk to my family.”
Watkins is widely considered the No. 1 receiver available for the 2014 draft, and an almost certain first-round pick.
Watkins says he believes his game is ready for the next level.
"I’m very explosive, and I’m a student of the game,” he said. “I work hard and I prepare the right way, eating right, sleeping right. And I love the game. If you don’t love it, then I don’t think you’ll get that much out of it. It’s definitely a factor that I love football. I’ve been playing it all my life.”