Sammy Watkins

For speedy Buffalo Bills wideout Sammy Watkins, being featured on the cover of an Eastbay catalog has added meaning.

“Growing up, my brother and I would go through the catalog and see which cleats we liked the most. I wanted to be light and fast, so Eastbay really helped out because they have the weights right next to the shoe,” Watkins said. “It’s great to be on the cover and think of all the kids in the world who will see it.”

And while we were happy to play any small part in his success, the truth is, the biggest reason for his terrific start in the pros is his attitude. Watkins is as competitive as it gets. He works tirelessly to be a leader on and off the gridiron, turning heads with his skills and his drive.

It’s not hard to see where the 22-year-old got that fighter’s mentality. His older brother, Jaylen, also plays in the NFL (currently with the Eagles) and the two have an intense sibling rivalry.

“When we were younger, we would always at odds, because we were both pretty good at football and both so competitive,” he said. “But we got to play together at Buffalo (in 2015) and we’re really close. He’s always good to have around and we’re just alike in a lot of ways.”

That drive to stand out from his peers is evident in his on and off field style too. When it came time to sign with an apparel company, he found the perfect match for his first-class style in adidas.

“When I signed with them, it wasn’t just an impulse decision. I tried the other brands, but for me, adidas just feels better,” he said. “They are just so comfortable. They’ve got the Yeezy boost, running shoes, adidas Originals — something for just about any fashion. It fits me well.”

He finds a way to make a fashion statement during training camp as well with his huge collection of adiZero cleats. “I would definitely say I’m a cleat head,” Watkins said. “I love those cleats and during camp, I’ll go through 30-40 different styles of them because of their colors and looks.”

So as he preps for his third training camp and season, let’s look into the future. What does he need to accomplish for him to call his career a success?

“Career-wise, I would love to be in the Hall of Fame and be considered one of the best ever, like Randy Moss and Jerry Rice,” Watkins said. “But my ultimate goal is to win a world championship. It can’t get any bigger than that.”