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The U.S. Army All-American Bowl selection tour has lived in the Sunshine State for the past couple of weeks. The latest stop was on the way to South Florida, when the tour stopped by Fort Myers (Fla.) South Fort Myers to officially invite wide receiver Sammy Watkins.
The 6-foot-2, 195-pound wide receiver is glad to be continuing a family tradition that began when his brother Jaylen Watkins played in the 2010 game.
"I found out during my junior year, but I didn't really know for sure until later on that it was true," Watkins said. "When I knew I was a part of it, I felt it was a real honor to play in that game. My brother played in it. I felt like it was great to get a chance to do the same thing."
The younger Watkins looks forward to an opportunity to face some of the nation's best defensive backs. From watching past U.S. Army All-American Bowl games, he knows that it is an opportunity for wide receivers to be showcased on national television.
"I watch it every year," Watkins said. "I like that they play one-on-one a lot and the receivers are able to get the ball a lot and show what they have got. It is a great game, you can have a lot of fun out there.
"It is great because I will get a chance to show what I have really got against great players," Watkins added. "Wherever I commit to, I am going to be playing against players like I will face in this game, so I am looking to show what I can do against them. I am looking forward to competing against them."
While he is looking forward to the competition, the four-star Rivals100 wide receiver is also looking forward to playing alongside a couple familiar faces in San Antonio, Texas.
"I went to a camp in South Carolina with a Clemson commit (Charone Peake)," Watkins said. "I am looking forward to playing with him. I am also playing alongside someone from down here, Aaron Lynch."
Before he heads to the Army Bowl at the turn of the calendar, the nation's No. 3 wide receiver is hoping to add one more accolade to a standout senior season at South Fort Myers.
"I just want to take my team to a state championship," Watkins said. "I have broken the receiving record down here and beat the touchdown mark. I also got player of the year for the area this year, so now I am just working on winning a state championship."
South Fort Myers will face Naples (Fla.) Barron Collier on Friday in the opening round of the state playoffs.
Another order of business for Watkins is to make a college decision, but at this point he isn't tipping his hand.
"Right now it is still around, like, 10 schools," Watkins said. "Like Miami, Michigan, Clemson, Alabama, Florida, Tennessee and a few other schools. Right now those schools aren't in any kind of order."
Among some of the college campuses that Watkins has visited: Clemson, Michigan and Florida. He plans to return to some of those schools and possibly check out a few others before making his final decision.
"I haven't been on any officials yet, just unofficials," Watkins added. "I am going to schedule my officials after our season is over. I am thinking I might take a few of them. I know I want to go to Clemson for sure."
If he is able to hit a few college campuses on official visits before heading to San Antonio, Watkins said that it is possible he notifies his finalists of his decision on national television, by announcing during the Jan. 8 game, which will be televised on NBC.
"It is a possibility," Watkins said. "I am not sure at this point."