CLEMSON, S.C. -

Sammy Watkins was in middle school in Fort Myers, Fla., and not thinking much about college when Clemson first made an impression.

The All-American receiver for the third-ranked Tigers noticed that two of the Sunshine State's top prep players -- tailback C.J. Spiller and receiver Jacoby Ford -- both were heading to Clemson despite strong ties to Florida State.

Watkins says that stuck with him until he made his choice, deciding to follow them to Clemson. Watkins will be on the field Saturday night when the Tigers (6-0, 4-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) host the Seminoles (5-0, 3-0).

Spiller grew up in Lake Butler about two hours east of Florida State. Ford's brother Davy was a Seminole standout.

Tigers coach Dabo Swinney says Spiller's decision increased Clemson's credibility with top recruits.