Instanalysis: Sammy Watkins Is Taking All Your Talent


Fellow children of the ’90s likely remember spending weekend nights with friends playing Sega Genesis or Super Nintendo into the wee hours on a mission to perfect all Mortal Kombat fatalities. Shang Tsung’s signature was taking the souls of his vanquished opponents, which in turn gave him increased strength and vitality. While Florida-bred freshman Sammy Watkins was tearing Maryland’s heart out, his home state UF Gators were suffering through yet another offensively anemic showing, prompting this tweet from Every Day Should Be Saturday:

Sammy Watkins is Shang Tsung. How else do you explain the youthful dynamo’s otherworldly play? With each passing week, Watkins gets better. He catches passes. He runs back kicks. He does it all, and he does so better than most anyone in the country.

His two touchdown receptions tonight give Watkins eight on the year, and he hit his nut on yards with 105. Tonight, he was integral to a three-touchdown rally and scored the decisive touchdown on an 89-yard kickoff return after Maryland had taken a 45-42 lead. Tonight’s stellar showing was the best in a career of of them — all seven, anyway. That brings us back to the original comparison. Watkins actually can’t be Shang Tsung, who was centuries old in the MK series. Watkins is still a teenager. Sega Genesis is to his generation what Pong was to mine. He’s a veritable college football baby, which begs the question: can a true freshman win the Heisman? More specifically, can this true freshman in the Heisman?

Whether or not he’s a legitimate candidate, Watkins is the no-doubt-about-it offensive MVP of the Atlantic Coast Country thus far. Well, maybe there’s some doubt it. Teammate Tajh Boyd is certainly having a heckuva season as the Tigers roar to an un-Clemson-like 7-0 start. Boyd threw four touchdowns against Maryland, bringing his season total to 19.

Oh, and Boyd’s just a sophomore himself. So is running back Andre Ellington, whose 214 yards rushing and two touchdowns actually take a back seat to Watkin’s performance. For the last three decades, Clemson’s been a program notorious for turning sure things into surely nots so it is with all due consideration I write we may be bearing witness to the foundation of something special for years to come.