Dabo Swinney announces 4 Clemson juniors are planning to enter the NFL
College football season is winding down and as it does, one of the sport's great traditions will unfold at campuses all across the country: Senior day ceremonies.
And while the focus will mainly be on the fourth and fifth-year players in the final home games, it will also mark the end for a number of prominent juniors who could declare for the NFL Draft in the spring.
At some schools, the decisions are still up in the air but at Clemson, coach Dabo Swinney is being less discreet about the process. He announced Tuesday that four juniors — quarterback DeShaun Watson, running back Wayne Gallman and wide receivers Mike Williams and Artavis Scott — will all be honored during Senior Day festivities this weekend.
While all have eligibility remaining, they will be leaving Clemson after this season to pursue professional options.
“All of those guys are planning on moving on,” Swinney said during a press conference on Tuesday, via The State of Columbia.
The news isn't much of a surprise for at least three of the four Clemson players.
Williams, who suffered a nearly catastrophic neck injury last season, is a former 1,000-yard receiver who is being projected by some as a first-round NFL Draft pick. It makes sense for him to move on and start collecting paychecks, especially after his career had such a scary twist last season.
Gallman's decision to turn pro is also probably a wise one, considering how short a running back's shelf-life is.
The least surprising move comes courtesy of Watson, who is projected by some to be the No. 1 overall pick in the 2017 draft. After earning a trip to New York as a Heisman finalist last year, Watson has continued to impress, already throwing for 24 touchdowns this season.
As for Scott, not many expected him to go pro just yet. He has 38 catches this year, although that number is somewhat deceiving, since he tallied 93 grabs a season ago filling in for the injured Williams.
Credit to Swinney for allowing the four players to be honored with their teammates on Saturday.