Success meant everything to Carlos Watkins.
The four-star defensive tackle from Chase High School in Forest City, N.C., admitted he had concerns about Clemson before the beginning of this season. A 6-0 start for the Tigers alleviated those worries, so he committed to be a Tiger.
“I was liking Clemson from the get go but I just didn't know how their season was going to hold up at the beginning of the season,” the 6-foot-3, 280-pound four-star prospect said. “They started off like this. It played a big role.”
Watkins said late Friday evening that he actually made his decision following Clemson's 38-24 win over Auburn on Sept. 17.
“It's been a while,” said Watkins, who chose the Tigers over Florida. “I told coach Dabo Swinney when I went into his office and talked to him. It's been awhile. I've just been holding it to myself.”
Watkins announced his decision following his last high school home game on Friday evening.
“It felt like family,” he said. “My family, they love it. It's close to home so I'm going to get a great deal out of it. That's pretty much it.”
Watkins said he had concerns about the in-state North Carolina Tar Heels because of their NCAA issues and a sudden off-season coaching change.
“I don't want to get involved with anything like that,” he said.
Watkins is one of many prospects from the state of North Carolina that will leave its borders to play college football. He said staying in state wasn't much of a consideration in his decision.
“Not really. I really didn't have any preference where to go,” he said. “It was an open door to all colleges. I just felt like Clemson was the one for me.”
Watkins is Clemson's 18th commitment and sixth from the ESPN150. He is ranked as the 13th best defensive tackle in the nation.