Monday Headlines: Panthers' Smith Ready For Niners, Arizona #1, Watkins Going Pro

By Jim McCoy Mon 6th January SportsAl GoldenBlake BortlesSammy WatkinsSteve Smith
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) - Panthers wide receiver Steve Smith says he'll play Sunday against the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC divisional playoffs after sitting out the season finale with a sprained knee ligament. The 34-year old says the sprained left knee felt good after practice today but he can't predict how it will feel during the game. ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) - UCF quarterback Blake Bortles and running back Storm Johnson say they will forgo their senior seasons and enter the NFL draft. The juniors saw their draft stock rise this season as they led the Knights to their first 12-1 finish and an upset of heavily favored Baylor in the Fiesta Bowl. COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - Clemson's record-setting wide receiver Sammy Watkins says he's giving up his senior year and heading to the NFL. Watkins has set 23 school records in three seasons. He finished his career as the most outstanding player of the Orange Bowl, with 16 catches for 227 yards and two touchdowns in the win over Ohio State. CORAL GABLES, Fla. (AP) - Miami coach Al Golden says he has been pursued by other programs, but reaffirmed his commitment to the Hurricanes and refused to discuss his reported candidacy at Penn State. Golden is 22-15 in three seasons at Miami and was widely pegged as a candidate for Penn State, where he played for Joe Paterno and was a captain of the Nittany Lions. UNDATED (AP) - Arizona has increased its run at No. 1 in the AP college basketball poll to five straight weeks picking up 60 of the 65 first-place ballots. The 15-0 Wildcats are followed by Syracuse, Ohio State, Wisconsin and Michigan State completing the same top five as last week.

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