Once a BC fan, Chris­tian Wilkins wants to ‘crush them’ now

The State - - Front Page - BY MATT CON­NOLLY mcon­nolly@thes­tate.com

Chris­tian Wilkins will be decked out in or­ange and start­ing for Clem­son on Satur­day night when the Tigers face Bos­ton Col­lege in Chest­nut Hill, Mass.

Wilkins, who grew up down the road in nearby Spring­field, Mass., will be a cap­tain for the game.

The se­nior’s sole fo­cus Satur­day will be on help­ing Clem­son get a win as the Tigers have an op­por­tu­nity to clinch the ACC At­lantic for the fourth con­sec­u­tive sea­son.

But as a kid grow­ing up near Bos­ton Col­lege, Wilkins dreamed about play-

ing in games like this at Alumni Sta­dium. He just al­ways imag­ined he would be on the home side­line.

“I was a big-time Bos­ton Col­lege fan. A lot of those guys, a lot of those play­ers were my he­roes grow­ing up,” Wilkins said this week. “That was my dream school when I was a kid. It was such a big deal when I was a young kid. If you’re from Mas­sachusetts, New Eng­land, you know what it means to be able to go to Bos­ton Col­lege. That’s re­ally the dream for every­body.”

Wilkins grew up watch­ing for­mer Bos­ton Col­lege stars B.J. Raji, Mathias Ki­wanuka, Matt Ryan and oth­ers and had plans of fol­low­ing in their foot­steps if ever given the chance.

“I re­ally wanted the op­por­tu­nity to play there and ev­ery­thing,” Wilkins said. “Like in re­cruit­ing I got re­ally close with them. Ob­vi­ously things changed as I got older, but that was my dream school as a kid. I know how spe­cial it is.”

But as Wilkins ref­er­enced, things changed.

He starred at Suffield Academy be­fore be­ing ranked as a five-star re­cruit for the class of 2015 and was be­ing re­cruited by al­most ev­ery pro­gram in the coun­try. The op­por­tu­nity to play at Clem­son was ul­ti­mately too much to pass up.

“Just I got older and things changed,” Wilkins said. “I just thought dif­fer­ently about re­cruit­ing. I grew as a man and knew what I wanted in a school and Clem­son ob­vi­ously was the best op­tion for me.”

Wilkins is ex­cited to play in front of sev­eral of his friends and fam­ily mem­bers that will be in at­ten­dance for his home­com­ing, and he is also ex­cited to once again play foot­ball in Novem­ber in New Eng­land weather.

“I want the most New Eng­land, Mas­sachusetts, Bos­ton con­di­tions pos­si­ble. I want it to be neg­a­tive 40 de­grees. I want snow. I want all of that,” Wilkins said. “And I’m play­ing with no sleeves, noth­ing warm. I’m just so ex­cited for the op­por­tu­nity to just go back home. I want it to feel like home when I get back too, like how it should be in midNovem­ber. I def­i­nitely want all of those con­di­tions for sure.”

While Wilkins is look­ing for­ward to play­ing near his home­town, play­ing in cold weather and play­ing in front of fam­ily and friends, first and fore­most he just wants to get a win as he con­tin­ues to work to­ward mak­ing his fi­nal sea­son in Clem­son a spe­cial one.

“I’m not a fan at all. I just wanna crush them (now). That’s my mind­set. I just wanna win the game,” Wilkins said. “Af­ter the game and stuff I’ll look up and en­joy be­ing in the sta­dium and things like that. But I’ll rem­i­nis­cence more once the game’s over.”

RICHARD SHIRO AP

“I was a big-time Bos­ton Col­lege fan,” Clem­son's Chris­tian Wilkins said, grow­ing up in nearby Spring­field, Mass.

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