It has been two years since Jadeveon Clowney played football for South Carolina, yet his name is brought up daily as one of the greatest to ever play for the Gamecocks. You may recall a popular narrative of concern about Clowney's work ethic leading up to the 2014 NFL Draft, a topic fueled by previous comments from Spurrier. It appears that may have been attributed to Clowney's ability to play through injuries.
During Day two of the 2015 SEC Media Days, Clowney’s name was brought up nearly as much as many of the current Gamecocks. The ‘ol Ball Coach Steve Spurrier was asked point blank about Clowney.
Q: Coach, top recruits come in with a ton of hype each year and you’re obviously familiar with this having dealt with Jadeveon Clowney?
Two years after the fact and his impact, his legacy still resonates in this area of the country and will probably remain so for a long time.
Spurrier replied "When the ball was snapped, he was the best. Sometimes you have a different program, but as long as they produce during the ball games. I think all teammates understand that, hey, he’s going to be there when the ball game starts and go from there."
Gamecock linebacker Skai Moore said that when he shared the field with Clowney in 2013, it was easy, often too easy to relax knowing that Clowney was the ultimate closer.
"He’s a freak of nature and he’s the best I’ve ever been on the field with, especially on third down when you just knew 7 (Clowney’s jersey number at South Carolina) was going to make a play."
Clowney is Still Awesome!
Clowney is Still Awesome!
Clowney and Watt
I talked with Andy Staples of SI.com and, this time, I initiated the conversation about Clowney and I didn’t even need to hear his comments. His body language told it all. As soon as I asked him about Clowney, he turned to me and had this look on his face that said "you’re kidding, a healthy Clowney and JJ Watt?" You know, the stank face. Quite frankly, he didn’t even need to say it.
As we walked around the lobby wearing our Texans gear, I heard a South Carolina fan say "hey, that’s Clowney’s team."
On The Right Track
The first overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft had a rough rookie season in Houston, suffering through: surgery to repair a sports hernia that he endured during his last year in college, a concussion during training camp practices in Denver, and a torn meniscus in the Texans' first game of the regular season; it was later discovered that he had previous damage to that same knee, which required microfracture surgery. Whew! That's quite a punch-list of injuries for any player to deal with in an entire career, much less his first year in the NFL.
The good news is that Jadeveon Clowney is reportedly on track with his recovery to be ready to contribute this upcoming season. If he isn't ready right away, that's no reason to panic either since initial thoughts were that it would be nine months to a year before Clowney would be back from this latest procedure. So far, reports indicate that he will be ready for training camp, which starts in a couple of weeks.
We're almost there, folks!