Things have been relatively quiet on the Sammy Watkins front. It was over a month ago that Dabo Swinney said that there was a little "wiggle room," so to speak, on how much time Watkins would miss after his arrest in May on drug charges. As the Charleston Post-Courier reported in June, Swinney said:
Is there a chance he doesn’t miss any time? Probably not. I’m not going to make any decision until we get closer to playing time and the main reason for that is Sammy has a process he has to deal with; some things he has to fulfill this summer. A lot of that is going to depend on how he responds and so far he has hit a home run in every category of how he has responded to this situation.
The pre-trial intervention process. The work within the Clemson program to get back into the staff's good graces. The paying his debt to the university through community service, possible drug tests and the like. Not to mention the early-morning discipline workouts, running stadiums and the extra that comes with violating team rules and working back to a spot on the roster.
As we stand just weeks before training camp, and a month-and-a-half before the Chick-fil-A Kickoff, Dabo Swinney is singing the tune of possibility even louder. As the folks at OrangeandWhite.com point out:
The coach is making his point pretty candidly, as you can see from the video posted by Orange and White.com.
Watkins is doing the little things correctly and is positioning himself to be eligible to play for the season opener against Auburn.
Should Sammy Watkins get to play against Auburn?
Obviously, the rival fans and holier-than-thou sect will not agree here. By their estimation, the only way a player can learn anything or is truly punished is when they are forced to miss game time. That's the highly visible punishment that pays them the pound of flesh they require to have their thirst for penalties sated.
Luckily for Clemson fans, Dabo Swinney, the Tigers football team and Sammy Watkins, though, the coach doesn't have to report to those two camps.
If Sammy Watkins does the little things Swinney deems necessary for him to play, then he most certainly should get the nod come September. We'll keep an eye on the situation as Watkins works to get back on the field, sooner not later for Clemson.