Three Clemson players are taking part in the 2017 Reese's Senior Bowl game on Saturday. After winning the college football national championship, defensive tackle Carlos Watkins, wide receiver Artavis Scott, and inside linebacker Ben Boulware will be teammates for one last time as they take the field as part of the South team.
Watkins (6-4, 312) played alongside D.J. Reader for four seasons (2012-15). The two were both named among the Tigers' permanent team captains.
"That was my big bro," Watkins said to Texans TV this week. "I mean we just vibed with each other so well. I knew he was going to hold it down on the other side and I had the other side down so it really didn't matter. We just loved playing with each other. He'd make a play, I'm on his back. I make a play, he's on my back. It was fun. I enjoyed it."
Boulware was also part of the defensive front with Reader for three seasons. Playing behind the Texans nose tackle during his collegiate career definitely benefitted him and those around him, Boulware said.
"It was huge," Boulware said. "He was very stout. He took up a lot of blocks for me, (LB) Kendall (Joseph), and (LB) B.J. (Goodson), in the back-end, just allowed us to run free. For 330, or however big he is, he's very athletic."
Named the Defensive MVP of Clemson's National Championship, he credited all the former Tigers, including DeAndre Hopkins, for the school's recent success. In the 35-31 win over Alabama this month, Clemson won its second-ever national football title, after 35 years.
"They built the foundation of our program. Every since Coach Swinney got there. He had his first '12 senior class: it was (QB) Tajh Boyd, it was (LB) Spencer Shuey, (LB) Stefone Anthony, Nuk (Hopkins), (WR) Sammy (Watkins). (RB) C.J. Spiller, those type guys that kind of built the program, built the foundation, for how consistent we are now."
Kickoff for the 2017 Reese's Senior Bowl is set for Saturday at 1:30 p.m. CT from Ladd-Peebles Stadium in Mobile, Alabama.
The Houston Texans host a pep rally at the Boys and Girls Club in Houston to get ready for the big game Saturday!