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College Football Insider

Jadeveon Clowney tells Gamecocks official he plans to play in 2013

The Jadeveon Clowney storyline of whether he should sit out 2013 to protect his health for next year's draft has mushroomed from a columnist's suggestion to a full-on NFL dissection this week within a few days. Steve Spurrier was asked about it and said he expects Clowney -- who needs one more season to satisfy the NCAA's three-year NFL declaration rule -- to be in Gamecock colors next season. Clowney's mother expects him back.

But Clowney hasn't spoken publicly about it (at least that I've seen -- if you see something official, point it our way), so I requested an interview via email through the South Carolina athletics department. Spokesman Steve Fink replied that though Clowney isn't available for interview, Fink spoke to Clowney on Thursday and the 6-foot-7 defensive end told him "right now he is planning on playing."

When asked about Clowney's usage of the phrase "right now" as to suggest there's wiggle room for a change of heart, Fink said he simply asked Clowney a question posed by another writer.

Before reading the tea leaves on this, let's wait for Clowney himself to directly quell or embrace the mounting coverage on an issue that's much broader in scope than one player. The growing sentiment (Spurrier, mother, spokesman) is that Clowney expects to be back, if he ever considered leaving at all.

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