No surprise, here.
Clemson receiver Sammy Watkins is the ACC’s Offensive and Overall Rookie of the Year as announced by the Atlantic Coast Sports Media Association today. He set league records for freshmen with 72 receptions, 1,073 yards receiving and 10 touchdowns, and provided the Tigers’ productive offense with its top big-play threat.
Watkins received 43 of a possible 45 votes for Offensive Rookie of the Year in balloting conducted by the Atlantic Coast Sports Media Association. North Carolina running back Giovani Bernard was named on two ballots. The total gave Watkins a clear majority of the electorate over the top defensive rookie, Wake Forest defensive back Merrill Noel, who was honored with a separate award.
The 6-foot-1 freshman from Fort Myers, Fla., established himself as one of the nation’s top young players almost from the outset of the Tigers’ 9-3 regular season. During the eighth game, he set three ACC rookie records on one play: those for receptions, yardage and touchdowns.
He also set the freshman standard for all-purpose yards, of which he has 1,920 with two games left. Only four ACC players have topped 2,000 for a season, and at 174.45 a game, Watkins stands fourth among all FCS competitors. Until a late-season injury, he had a viable chance to become the first freshman since 1943 to lead the NCAA’s highest division in all-purpose yardage.
(Photos by Scott Halleran and Rob Carr/Getty Images North America)