Watkins might be ready for N.C. State
CLEMSON -- Clemson freshman receiver Sammy Watkins met with the media Monday, saying his shoulder is feeling better and indicating he could be ready to play at N.C. State on Saturday.
Watkins said he had an MRI on the shoulder Sunday in addition to the X-ray taken Saturday. The freshman star said neither image showed evidence of structural damage. He left in the third quarter of the Wake Forest victory Saturday and was diagnosed with a mild AC joint sprain. The Clemson staff said it is a minor injury.
"It's getting better day by day," Watkins said. "I'll probably be limited but I might play. I'll get treatment every day and (try) to practice Thursday. ... It's just sore right now, it's not really hurting."
Named as one of 10 semifinalists for the Biletnikoff Award on Monday, given to the nation's top receiver, Watkins said it will be a coaches' decision on whether he plays at N.C. State.
Changing of the guards
Most of the offensive line issues can be traced to guards Brandon Thomas (left guard) and Antoine McClain (right guard), offensive coordinator Chad Morris said. Clemson continues to struggle in short yardage situations.
The guard play will be further tested at N.C. State as left tackle Phillip Price (knee strain) is out of the game meaning Thomas will shift to tackle and David Smith will start at left guard.
Massive redshirt freshman Kalon Davis (6-5, 340) will also play at guard though Morris has been disappointed with Davis' performance in practice.
"We are searching," Morris said. "We need to be more efficient at (guard)."
Morris said if Watkins is limited against N.C. State, freshman receiver Adam Humphries would take most of Watkins' reps. Morris is high on Humphries, who has outstanding quickness.
Brandon Ford caught three passes for 51 yards, including a key 7-yard touchdown grab Saturday. Morris praised the Hanahan High product's hands and his ability as a receiver but said he needs to become more physical. The redshirt junior moved from wide receiver to tight end last season.
Prized Clemson 2012 quarterback commitment Chad Kelly told Tigerillustarted.com that Morris and head coach Dabo Swinney told him Morris has no plans to leave Clemson anytime soon. Morris is thought to be an in-demand coaching commodity.
Tight end Dwayne Allen has been named as a Mackey Award semifinalist, presented to the nation's top tight end ... Center Dalton Freeman was named as the ACC's offensive lineman of the week Monday.