2015 NFL DRAFT

Jadeveon Clowney, DE

School: South Carolina  |  Conference: SEC
College Experience: Junior  |  Hometown: Rock Hill, SC
Height/Weight: 6-5 / 266 lbs.
Projected Ranking
OverallPositionProj. Rnd.
111
Player News
05/12/2014 - Houston says hello to Clowney...General manager Rick Smith thought about trading the pick, but he didn't find anyone who'd agree to his steep demands. He wasn't going to give up Clowney without an offer too good to refuse. The coaches are excited about pairing Clowney with defensive end J.J. Watt in passing situations. Five members of the front seven will be Watt, Clowney, Mercilus, Reed and inside linebacker Brian Cushing. "I want to learn," Clowney said. "I want to be great. Now that I'm in the NFL, hopefully, I'll be a Hall of Famer someday."

The Texans now prep for Friday's second round, when they again begin the night with the first pick -- this time, No. 33 overall. Fresno State quarterback Derek Carr and Eastern Illinois quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo are among the candidates to be chosen at that spot, but reports also circulated Thursday that the Texans could go the veteran route, possibly acquiring former Bill O'Brien pupil Ryan Mallett from the New England Patriots. - The Sports Xchange

05/12/2014 - Houston says hello to Clowney...They entered the first round of the draft needing a quarterback and a pass rusher who could increase a sack total that plunged from 44 in 2012 to 31 last season. After Thursday's first round of the 2014 NFL Draft, the Houston Texans still have work to do. However, they filled one need when they used the first overall pick on defensive end Jadeveon Clowney, the highest-rated player in the draft, a once-in-a-generation pass rush prospect, according to a lot of scouts. Clowney is ideally suited to play right end in a 4-3 system. The Texans play a 3-4 under new defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel. Clowney will play outside linebacker in the base defense, then drop down and rush with his hand in the dirt on obvious passing situations.

The coaches anticipate using their nickel defense 60 to 65 percent of the time, and that's when Clowney will be the most dangerous. It's up to Crennel, who has five Super Bowl rings, to figure out how to fit Clowney with starting outside linebackers Whitney Mercilus and Brooks Reed, former first- and second-round draft choices. Clowney is eager to get started because he believes he's got something to prove after being so heavily criticized after recording only three sacks as a junior at South Carolina last season. "A lot of people have doubted me," he said after being drafted. "I've been proving people wrong throughout my life. A lot of people said I wouldn't be anything growing up, and now look at me." - The Sports Xchange

05/12/2014 - Two draft choices - defensive end Jadeveon Clowney and nose tackle Louis Nix III - have nicknames. After being drafted first overall, Clowney disclosed that his first name is pronounced Ja-DEV-eon, not Ja-DAY-veon. But he'd rather be called J.D. So now he's J.D. Clowney. Nix, a third-round pick, said his nickname was "Irish Chocolate Thunder." - The Sports Xchange

05/12/2014 - A closer look at the Texans' picks: Round 1/1 - Jadeveon Clowney, DE, 6-5, 266, South Carolina...Texans resisted opportunities to trade down and selected the highest-rated prospect in the draft. Has tremendous pass-rush skills, but must play hard on every down. Will play outside linebacker on weak side in base 3-4 scheme and drop down to right end in passing situations. - The Sports Xchange

05/08/2014 - 2014 DRAFT SCOUT FINAL TOP 100: 1/1. *Jadeveon Clowney, DE, South Carolina, 6-5, 266, 4.51, 1...Per Auburn defensive lineman Dee Ford at the combine, on Clowney: "He plays like a blind dog at a meat market." Cute stuff, but there is no doubt this dog can hunt. Question is, will he? He has the freakish pass-rush ability of a Jevon Kearse -- a comparison made by Steve Spurrier, who recruited and coached both players -- but at times seemed unreliable or unwilling. Clowney flashed Kearse-like upside in 2012 with 13 sacks and 23.5 tackles for a loss. But in 2013 had a foot injury, seemed fatigued, out of shape and managed only 3.5 sacks.

Spurrier's underwhelming endorsement about Clowney's work ethic: "It's ok." Mmmm. It was no surprise when Clowney validated his athleticism at combine. At 6-foot-5 1/4, 266 pounds, his best 40-yard time was 4.51 seconds (although announced time was 4.53). He added a vertical jump of 37.5 inches, 21 reps on bench and a 10-03 broad jump. Frankly: This once-in-a-decade physical freak cannot be ignored, so grab him, shake him, play him and hope that a paycheck doesn't make him complacent. - Frank Cooney, NFLDraftScout.com

05/07/2014 - Jadeveon Clowney, Texans GM Smith in constant contact...He has been called spoiled and lazy by anonymous NFL evaluators, but perhaps the only opinion that should matter to pass rusher Jadeveon Clowney is that of Houston Texans general manager Rick Smith. And according to Clowney, all Smith is calling him is ... often. Clowney told The State of Columbia, S.C., that he spoke with Smith two or three times last week, and the volume of contact won't be dialed back this week. Clowney, a 6-5, 266-pound edge player who would convert to outside linebacker in a 3-4 defense if he goes to Houston, has maintained a level, soft-spoken attitude toward the draft process.

Peers -- namely Auburn defensive end Dee Ford -- and personnel types have picked him apart publicly. But Clowney is NFLDraftScout.com's top-ranked player and analysts view him as a potentially great talent. That the Texans are keeping tabs on Clowney can be chalked up as due diligence, but given Smith's admission that he "absolutely" knows who he wants at No. 1 barring a trade, the phone-a-friend revelation is revealing. - The Sports Xchange

05/07/2014 - Five players who should be on Houston's draft radar...DE Jadeveon Clowney, South Carolina: If the Texans stick at No. 1, I do think Mack is a possibility, but I'm still leaning Clowney as the player they won't be able to pass up here. Clowney had his best season in 2012 as a sophomore with career-bests in tackles (54), tackles for loss (23.5) and sacks (13.0), earning First Team All-SEC and All-American honors. He entered 2013 with high expectations, but he saw a lot more attention and his junior statistics failed to match his freshman production (when he had only one start), finishing with just three sacks.

Clowney is freakishly athletic for his size with the first step burst and ability to convert speed to power that makes him a disruptive force, but he does have some maturity and effort concerns -- teams are more concerned with his practice habits and effort between games rather than his in-game effort. He has been the best player on the field his entire life, through high school and college, but that will change in the NFL -- will he push himself to reach his full pro potential? Clowney has immense natural ability and rare physical talent to be the No. 1 overall pick and instant NFL sack artist, but the other factors create some doubt. - Dane Brugler, NFLDraftScout.com

05/06/2014 - Dane Brugler's 2014 NFL Draft Final Top-50: 2. Jadeveon Clowney DE, South Carolina (6-5, 266, 4.53, JR)...A freak athlete who can do things on the football field most on this earth can't, Clowney has awesome potential and a high NFL ceiling, but I still do have questions whether or not his football character between games will allow him to reach his immense upside. - Dane Brugler, NFLDraftScout.com

05/06/2014 - The Sports Xchange 2014 NFL Draft Best Team Fit: Houston Texans...OLB Jadeveon Clowney, South Carolina: Although he's more suited for defensive end in a 4-3, he's so talented he could be moved to outside linebacker on the weak side in the base defense, then rush the passer in the nickel 70 percent of the time. The Texans need to enhance a pass rush that produced only 31 sacks last season, down from 44 in 2012. - Frank Cooney, The Sports Xchange

04/04/2014 - Week 5 Pro Day Takeaways: Clowney sails, Henderson bails...1. King Clowney proves yet again that he's the elite talent in the 2014 draft...Any question about Clowney's ability to handle the transition to outside linebacker may have been put to rest with his sparkling workout. Asked to run through a mix of defensive line and linebacker drills for scouts representing every team in the league, Clowney dazzled with his acceleration, fluidity and length. The 6-foot-5, 266 pounder was especially impressive during a leaping drill led by St. Louis Rams' defensive line coach Jim Washburn in which he soared over seven blocking bags, landed cleanly and showed off his balance and arm length to pluck tennis balls off the ground.

The ability to leap over bags may sound like a silly way to way to evaluate a prospect but Clowney has already dominated every other test put in front of him. The drill, which Washburn has used for years to test explosion, balance and agility, has reportedly never before been successfully completed with seven bags. The Houston Texans may elect to go in another direction with the first pick. But if they do, Clowney has vowed to make them "miserable." As my top-rated prospect all year long, I'm certainly not betting against him. - Rob Rang, NFLDraftScout.com

04/03/2014 - Jadeveon Clowney believes he's the NFL's No. 1 draft pick and says he took a big step toward that goal during South Carolina's pro day workouts Wednesday. The 6-foot-5, 266-pound defensive end did position drills in front of dozens of NFL personnel, including Houston head coach Bill O'Brien and Jacksonville head coach Gus Bradley. And Clowney thinks he elevated his already elite status during the 40 minutes or so of running through cones, jumping over hurdles and catching tennis balls in workouts he passed on at the NFL combine in February. "Yes, I do feel like I should be the first pick," Clowney said after the session. Clowney did not lift weights or run the 40-yard dash, standing on his combine showings when he did 21 reps at 225 pounds and clocked a 4.53-second time.

He also felt he eased anyone's concerns about his work ethic. He was considered by many the No. 1 pick after his sophomore season in 2012, when he had 13 sacks and closed it with his helmet-jarring hit on Michigan's Vincent Smith in the Outback Bowl. The footage of the hit was seemingly shown daily on highlight shows and Clowney immediately became a Heisman Trophy favorite, analysts projecting record-setting sack numbers. But Clowney couldn't live up to the expectations as injuries and opponent's schemed him out of plays. He finished with a disappointing three sacks. A midseason tiff with coach Steve Spurrier - Clowney pulled himself out of the Kentucky game with a rib muscle strain without following proper protocol - intensified questions about Clowney's work habits and going hard every play. "I think my work ethic is pretty good. I think I proved that today, but I've still got a lot of proving to do," he said. - AP Sports

04/03/2014 - Jadeveon Clowney stars at packed South Carolina workout...According to the contingent of NFL Network announcers covering the Pro Day live, no one has ever successfully made the seven bag leap. If Jadeveon Clowney needed to answer any questions about his athletic ability during his Pro Day at South Carolina, he certainly did so. Emphatically, in fact, according to a high-ranking NFL scout on hand for the workout. "King Clowney proved again today that he's the best athlete in the draft," the scout said. Clowney passed the first test immediately, weighing in at the same 266 pounds on Wednesday that he'd been at the Combine.

In front of a heavy contingent from the Houston Texans and Jacksonville Jaguars, as well as representatives from virtually every other club in the league, Clowney sparkled. Clowney's workout was short on measured drills, though he did show remarkable explosiveness and balance in leaping seven bags during a test administered by St. Louis Rams' defensive line coach Jim Washburn. Clowney, as well as defensive tackle Kelcy Quarles and edge rusher Chaz Sutton invididually lined up in front of four horizontally-placed blocking bags. Each player was asked to leap flat-footed over them, land on both feet, take a few steps and then reach down to pick up tennis balls. Quarles and Sutton, each very athletic in their own right, weren't able to keep up with Clowney, who appeared to easily handle the pressure of extra bags being added after each successful leap. According to the contingent of NFL Network announcers covering the Pro Day live, no one has ever successfully made the seven bag leap. - Rob Rang, NFLDraftScout.com

04/03/2014 - Jadeveon Clowney stars at packed South Carolina workout...If Jadeveon Clowney needed to answer any questions about his athletic ability during his Pro Day at South Carolina, he certainly did so. Emphatically, in fact, according to a high-ranking NFL scout on hand for the workout. "King Clowney proved again today that he's the best athlete in the draft," the scout said. Clowney passed the first test immediately, weighing in at the same 266 pounds on Wednesday that he'd been at the Combine. In front of a heavy contingent from the Houston Texans and Jacksonville Jaguars, as well as representatives from virtually every other club in the league, Clowney sparkled.

Clowney's workout was short on measured drills, though he did show remarkable explosiveness and balance in leaping seven bags during a test administered by St. Louis Rams' defensive line coach Jim Washburn. Clowney, as well as defensive tackle Kelcy Quarles and edge rusher Chaz Sutton invididually lined up in front of four horizontally-placed blocking bags. Each player was asked to leap flat-footed over them, land on both feet, take a few steps and then reach down to pick up tennis balls. Quarles and Sutton, each very athletic in their own right, weren't able to keep up with Clowney, who appeared to easily handle the pressure of extra bags being added after each successful leap. - Rob Rang, NFLDraftScout.com

02/27/2014 - 2014 NFL COMBINE: 10 TAKEAWAYS FROM INDIANAPOLIS: 6. South Carolina superstar Jadeveon Clowney was equally astonishing and exasperating in Indianapolis. The No. 1 rated player in the draft, did enough to show why, with a 40-yard time that was announced in 4.53 second, a vertical jump of 37.5 inches, 21 reps on bench and a 10-03 broad jump after measuring in at 6-foot-5, 266 pounds. He had promised a 40 time in the 4.4 range, but at 4.53 is among the best ever for defensive ends at the combine. Four other defensive ends have run as fast or faster this century at the combine on NFLDraftScout.com's list. The best time this century for a defensive end at the combine came in 2002 when UAB's Bryan Thomas, at 6-4, 266, was clocked in 4.47 and was the 22nd overall pick (New York Jets). While he certainly wowed with his straight-line explosiveness, Clowney did not to participate in shuttle drills or the positional workouts, citing a hip flexor. By not fighting through the injury, Clowney did not take advantage of an opportunity to win over critics, who question why he wasn't more productive in 2013 despite his obvious talent. - The Sports Xchange

02/20/2014 - 2014 NFL Draft Scout Pre-Combine Top 64 Prospects: 1. *Jadeveon Clowney, DE, South Carolina, 6-5, 274, 4.56, 1...First, think Randy Moss. Enough natural athletic ability to be the best, but there are questions about if, when and how hard he will work. Next, think Jevon Kearse -- physically freakish combination of size, speed, explosion, agility. Clowney predicts he will blur through 40 yards in 4.4 seconds, ala Kearse (4.42). College career marred by obvious spells of fatigue from poor conditioning and battled a foot injury throughout last season that should be monitored. - Frank Cooney, The Sports Xchange

02/19/2014 - 2014 NFL Combine: 10 prospects with the most to gain/lose: 4. Physical marvels: OT Greg Robinson, DE Jadeveon Clowney...Based on tape, these two prospects are worthy of a spot among the top-three picks in the draft. So if Robinson and Clowney arrive in Indianapolis and perform like they're capable, both could easily be first non-quarterbacks drafted in May. But if something were to go wrong, either during the interview process, medical evaluation or agility drills, some doubt could start to creep into the minds of decision-makers. Realistically, the possibility of that happening is slim, but because they are such physically-gifted specimens, much is expected. And when the expectations are high, it's sometimes tough for prospects to answer that hype. - Dane Brugler, NFLDraftScout.com

02/19/2014 - Clowney work ethic 'OK' per Ball Coach...Steve Spurrier did nothing to discourage simmering questions about South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney's work ethic in a television appearance Wednesday. Asked to evaluate the 6-foot-5, 274-pound pass rusher's work habits after three years in the Gamecocks' program -- South Carolina totaled 33 wins -- Spurrier might have added to the ammunition for scouts ready to interrogate Clowney at the NFL Scouting Combine this week. "It was OK," Spurrier said on NFL Network, the implication being that Clowney didn't exactly wear out the alarm clock or tax the hinges on the weight-room door. "He wasn't Marcus Lattimore."

Lattimore's legendary work habits were praised by Spurrier prior to the 2013 NFL Draft and fully endorsed by head coach Jim Harbaugh, whose 49ers drafted Lattimore last April. Lattimore spent the season on injured reserve recovering from a second major leg injury in three years. Spurrier did underscore Clowney's explosiveness, a rare trait that the veteran coach said reminds him of former Florida Gators defensive end Jevon Kearse, a first-round pick of the Tennessee Titans in 1999 who had 74 career sacks.

Clowney could be the story of the 2014 NFL Scouting Combine. If he works out as expected, his collective workout numbers are likely to rival some of the best ever at his position and raise comparisons to top combine headline-makers such as Vernon Davis for his rare power, speed and explosiveness. Those work ethic and love-of-the-game questions? Not going away anytime soon, especially with poignant observations like those from Spurrier fanning that flame. - The Sports Xchange

02/16/2014 - Clowney says college athletes should be paid...Defensive end Jadeveon Clowney, who is expected to be taken early in the upcoming NFL Draft, said in a television interview that he might have stayed at South Carolina for another season if he were paid for being a college athlete. "Yes. Having to take care of my family, it would have made a difference if I'd have gotten paid," Clowney said on "Jim Rome" on Showtime, according to an ESPN.com report. "If I would have had the chance to take care of my family through college, I would have probably stayed in college." Clowney, ranked as the No. 1 prospect by NFLDraftScout.com for May's draft, also said he believes college athletes should be paid. "I think so," Clowney said. "They are selling our jerseys with our numbers and making money off of ticket sales, so I think college athletes should get paid." Despite had just three sacks and 11.5 tackles for loss in 2013 after having 13.0 sacks and 23.5 tackles for loss in 2012. - The Sports Xchange

01/19/2014 - 2014 NFL Draft: A record 98 underclassmen eligible for draft...The 2014 NFL Draft is over three months away, but already a record has fallen, as 98 underclassmen have decided to go pro early, breaking last year's mark of 73 early entrants. The 2014 NFL Draft is scheduled for May 8-10. The deadline for underclassmen to declare was Jan. 15. Players who are three years removed from high school are eligible to make the jump early and agree to forfeit any remaining college eligibility once they declare for the draft.

In the 2013 NFL Draft last April, 16 of the 32 players selected in the opening round were underclassmen. Draft classes are boosted every year by the early entrants, especially in the first round, and the 2014 class won't be any different. The record of 98 declared underclassmen is up from 73 in 2013, 65 in 2012, 56 in 2011 and 53 in 2010, an alarming trend that is tough to ignore. - Dane Brugler, NFLDraftScout.com

01/04/2014 - Four Gamecock Juniors to Enter NFL Draft...Clowney, a 6-6, 274-pounder from Rock Hill, S.C., joins Warren Muir and George Rogers as the only Gamecocks to earn first-team All-America honors in two seasons. Clowney finished his Gamecock career with 47.0 tackles for loss, second in Carolina history, and 24.0 sacks, the school's third-best mark. He set the school's single-season records with 13.0 sacks and 23.5 tackles for loss while earning unanimous first-team All-America accolades and the Hendricks Award as the nation's top defensive end during the 2012 season. - South Carolina football

01/02/2014 - Scout compares Jadeveon Clowney to Randy Moss...A move that shouldn't shock anyone, South Carolina junior pass rusher Jadeveon Clowney will skip his senior season and enter the 2014 NFL Draft. He made the declaration moments after the Gamecocks' bowl victory over Wisconsin on Wednesday. Clowney is rated as the No. 1 defensive end prospect for the 2014 NFL Draft and the No. 2 overall player in this year's class. Only Texas A&M senior offensive tackle Jake Matthews is currently rated above him. It would be considered a shock if Clowney fell out of the top-five picks on draft day.

Arguably the most talented NFL prospect in this class or in recent years, Clowney is a freak athlete for his size (6-5, 275) with above average first step quickness and the ability to convert speed to power. His burst, flexibility and overall strength are outstanding and allow him to make an impact as both a run blocker and pass rusher. Although his production was down in 2013 (only 3 sacks compared to 13 last year), Clowney's impact cannot be fully appreciated in the stat sheet as he often was double-teamed and received special treatment from opposing offenses who left a tight end or running back on his side of the field.

But despite the immense natural talent, Clowney is not a flawless prospect and there will be several questions that he'll need to answer during the pre-draft process. His effort and overall passion have been questioned by scouts and it's something that has shown on tape. - Dane Brugler, NFLDraftScout.com

01/02/2014 - Scout compares Jadeveon Clowney to Randy Moss..."He's a modern day Randy Moss," said an AFC East scout on Clowney. "J.C. doesn't have the same type of criminal background as Randy did when he was his age, but the dependence on natural talent and problematic effort concerns are very similar. Difference is, Clowney won't fall out of the top-seven like Randy did."

The "effort" concerns don't exist because his statistics dipped in 2013 compared to last season, but rather because he appeared tentative and fatigued too often during his junior year. Was he playing not to get hurt or are there legitimate effort concerns? "In high school, he was the best player on the field. Same in the SEC," the scout added. "But he needs to realize that won't be the case in the league. If he wants to have a career longer than a few seasons, the kid needs to wake up, add some glass to his diet and understand that it'll take a lot more work during the week."

Clowney also battled a foot injury throughout the season and despite saying on Wednesday that he had "no plans" for surgery, it's something to monitor. A native of Rock Hill, S.C. where he attended South Pointe High School, Clowney was the crown jewel recruit when he arrived at South Carolina and his legend seemed to grow more and more, eventually getting to the point where it was impossible for him to live up to the hype. His "football character" will likely be a hot topic over the next few months, but it should also be noted that he plays a position where concerns in that area aren't as magnified for NFL teams like they would be if he played quarterback. - Dane Brugler, NFLDraftScout.com

01/01/2014 - PLAYERS TO WATCH: DE Jadeveon Clowney manages to cause attention wherever he goes, even on the highway. The South Carolina star junior received a speeding ticket for driving 110 miles-per-hour in a 70 mph zone on a South Carolina interstate on Dec. 7. Clowney might be in a hurry to submit his status for the upcoming NFL Draft, but Wisconsin understands a motivated and hungry Clowney spells trouble for quarterback Joel Stave. Clowney is an electric player with the ability to seize control of a game. - The Sports Xchange

12/26/2013 - South Carolina's Clowney again ticketed for speeding...For the second time in a month, South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney was stopped for driving his car at an excessive speed. Clowney was issued a speeding ticket on Thursday morning near downtown Columbia, S.C., when police charged him with going 84 mph in a 55 mph zone, The State newspaper reported after obtaining the citation. In early December, Clowney was stopped by a South Carolina state trooper after he was clocked at 110 mph in a 70-mph zone on Interstate 77 north of Columbia. He received a $355 ticket after that incident.

Clowney faces the possibility of having his driver's license suspended for accumulating too many points, The State reported. Earlier in the week, Clowney said he was as healthy as he has been all season as the Gamecocks prepare to face Wisconsin in the Capital One Bowl in Orlando, Fla., on Jan. 1. That almost certainly will be the final college game for Clowney, a junior who is expected to be among the first picks in the 2014 NFL Draft despite a season that fell short of expectations after he was named an All-American in 2012. - The Sports Xchange

12/17/2013 - South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney says he's healthy as he's been all season and is ready to end his career strongly at the Capital One Bowl. The eighth-ranked Gamecocks (10-2) face No. 19 Wisconsin (9-3) on New Year's Day. And a Clowney not slowed by bumps and bruises is a big plus for South Carolina. The 6-foot-6, 274-pound junior has dealt with bone spurs in his foot and a strained muscle near his ribs this season, along with double and triple teams from opposing teams he's faced each game. Clowney finished the season with three sacks, far fewer than projected after his helmet-popping last New Year's was the highlight of college football's last offseason. Clowney has said the Badgers game will be his last in college. - AP Sports

12/13/2013 - 2013 WALTER CAMP SECOND TEAM ALL-AMERICAN: DL Jadeveon Clowney, South Carolina, 6-6 274, Jr., Rock Hill, SC...Clowney, a 6-6, 274-pounder from Rock Hill, S.C., was named first-team All-SEC by both the Associated Press and the SEC coaches earlier in the week. A 2013 Rotary Lombardi Award semifinalist, Clowney finished the regular season with 10.5 tackles for loss and had 35 tackles on the year to go along with a forced fumble, a pair of pass breakups, three sacks and eight quarterback hurries. He was a unanimous first-team All-American in 2012 and the winner of the Hendricks Award as the nation's outstanding defensive end. - South Carolina football

12/11/2013 - 2013 ALL-SEC FIRST TEAM (COACHES): DL - Jadeveon Clowney, South Carolina...Clowney, a 2013 Rotary Lombardi Award semifinalist, earned All-SEC accolades for a third straight season. He finished the regular season with 10.5 tackles for loss and had 35 tackles on the year to go along with a forced fumble, a pair of pass breakups, three sacks and eight quarterback hurries. - South Carolina football

12/11/2013 - 2013 ASSOCIATED PRESS ALL-SEC FIRST TEAM: DE - Jadeveon Clowney (Tie), South Carolina, 6-6, 274, Jr,...Clowney earned All-SEC accolades for a third straight season. He finished the regular season with 10.5 tackles for loss and had 35 tackles on the year to go along with a forced fumble, a pair of pass breakups, three sacks and eight quarterback hurries. - South Carolina football

12/10/2013 - Authorities have released video of South Carolina star defensive end Jadeveon (jah-DEH-vee-on) Clowney being ticketed, with troopers saying he drove 110 mph in a 70 mph zone. Video obtained Tuesday by The Associated Press shows Clowney being pulled over in a Chrysler 300 around 7:30 p.m. Saturday on Interstate 77 north of Columbia. Radioing in the call, the trooper identifies the driver only as "Clowney."

Clowney is barely audible on the recording and remains in the car during the seven-minute recording. The ticket carries a $355 fine. A copy obtained by AP shows Clowney has a Jan. 9 court date, although the trooper told him he didn't have to appear. Clowney is a junior expected to enter the NFL draft after South Carolina plays Wisconsin in the Capital One Bowl. - AP Sports

12/09/2013 - Troopers say South Carolina star defensive end Jadeveon Clowney was ticketed for going 110 mph in a 70 mph zone on a South Carolina interstate. Highway Patrol Lance Cpl. David Jones said Clowney was pulled over in a Chrysler 300 around 7:30 p.m. Saturday northbound on Interstate 77 in Fairfield County, about 25 miles north of Columbia. Jones says Clowney was issued the ticket and allowed to drive away. It carries a $355 fine and six points, which are half the points needed to suspend a driver's license. The university didn't make Clowney or coach Steve Spurrier available to talk. Clowney is a junior expected to enter the NFL draft after South Carolina plays Wisconsin in the Capital One Bowl. He was named to The Associated Press All-Southeastern Conference team Monday. - AP Sports

12/09/2013 - The South Carolina Highway Patrol says they saw Jadeveon Clowney coming -- perhaps a bit too quickly -- and promptly cited the Gamecocks star defensive end with going 110 MPH in a 70 MPH zone. Troopers say Clowney was pulled over in a Chrysler 300 around 7:30 p.m. Saturday night on Interstate 77 near mile marker 39. Officials say he was immediately ticketed, but not arrested in the stop. No word on what kind of fine was issued.

According to state law, Clowney could have been imprisoned for not more than 30 days for the violation since he was driving 25 miles per hour over the speed limit. The Highway Patrol says no other citations were issued in the incident. Clowney was most recently named to the 2013 first team All-SEC squad by the Associated Press. He is expected to declare for the upcoming 2014 NFL Draft. - WISTV 10 News, Columbia

12/01/2013 - 2014 NFL Draft: Pass rushers, including Clowney, steal spotlight...Clowney flashed the traits of a future first round pick as a true freshman two years ago and - despite constant hype saying otherwise - he's only solidified his stock as a blue chip prospect since. The two others, also juniors, may also have been participating in their final rivalry game. The 6-foot-6, 268-pound Clowney attacked the edge with his trademark explosiveness, demonstrating the speed, power and impressive technique (including refined swim and spin moves) to frequently pressure Boyd. While his effort in lateral and downfield pursuit may have been an issue in prior contests, it wasn't against the Tigers as the junior actively followed the ball. - Rob Rang, NFLDraftScout.com

11/16/2013 - South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney limped off the field in the second quarter against Florida on Saturday night. Clowney rolled around on the turf in pain as Gamecocks trainers rushed out to help. He got up after a few minutes and was helped to the sidelines, limping with a right leg injury. Clowney was then looked at by team doctors on the sidelines.

Last year's Southeastern Conference player of the year had just two sacks and 6 1-2 tackles for loss this season. Clowney has had injury issues this season. He took himself out of last month's game with Kentucky because of muscle strain around his ribs. The 6-foot-6, 274-pound junior is also dealing with bone spurs in his right foot, a condition he's had since high school. - AP Sports

11/11/2013 - TOP 10 SCARIEST PLAYERS IN COLLEGE FOOTBALL: 4. Jadeveon Clowney, South Carolina, DL: The 6-6, 278-pound junior is not putting up numbers like he did last season as he's battled through some nagging injuries, but Clowney's still be a major headache who must be accounted for in opponents' game plans. Clowney still has 6.5 TFLs, a forced fumble and seven QB hurries and looks like he's ready to crank up the heat the last month of the season. - Bruce Feldman, CBSSports.com

10/21/2013 - Clowney's dominance overshadowed in upset loss to Tennessee...The Vols kept up the momentum by scoring a second touchdown on their next drive after a stagnant South Carolina offense went three and out. The Gamecocks' longest drive of the game resulted in zero points as Elliott Fry missed a 45-yard field goal. Clowney nearly gave South Carolina the ball back, knifing into the backfield to wrap up Neal for another tackle for loss. Perhaps used to being hit before he made the line of scrimmage, Neal reacted quickly, pushing the ball towards Worley as Clowney took him to the ground. After conferring for several seconds, the officials ruled that Neal's fumble (which was recovered by South Carolina) was instead a pass attempt that allowed the Vols to kneel down and take their 17-7 lead into the half.

Critics will point out that Clowney wasn't as statistically productive in the second half (three tackles), but those who watched the game saw the South Carolina star continue to make disruptive plays. Give Tennessee head coach Butch Jones some credit. Entering this game, Jones' teams were a combined 42-2 when leading at halftime and the Vols adjusted with quicker passes and the vast most of their runs going right (away from Clowney). Running backs were also often kept in to chip against Clowney in the second half. - Rob Rang, NFLDraftScout.com

10/21/2013 - Clowney's dominance overshadowed in upset loss to Tennessee...On a day that could be described as Showdown Saturday for the number of tantalizing one on one matchups between highly regarded NFL prospects, the feature attraction held up to the hype. Lining up opposite the most talented left tackle he'll face this year, South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney demonstrated the exceptional burst off the snap, lateral agility and array of pass rush moves which has kept the 6-foot-5, 272-pound Clowney atop my Big Board and as the first defender on NFLDraftScout.com's rankings.

In one half of dominant football, Clowney may have silenced his increasingly vocal critics, registering four tackles, including 2.5 tackles for loss. Frankly, the numbers don't do him justice. Two other big hits behind the line of scrimmage over the first 30 minutes nearly resulted in what would have been the most dominant half of football of Clowney's career.

Unlike most collegiate pass rushers, Clowney owns a complete game, based on spectacular athleticism and refined technique. He complements his speed rush with a terrific interior move and has the strength, toughness and vision to star against the run, as well. Clowney beat the shockingly athletic Richardson with his initial explosiveness, as well as the same quick jab-step right, cut back inside move which resulted in the Clowney's famous collision with Michigan running back Vincent Smith in last year's Outback Bowl victory. - Rob Rang, NFLDraftScout.com

10/21/2013 - Clowney's dominance overshadowed in upset loss to Tennessee...Much has been made of Clowney's less-than-ideal production entering this contest. As was demonstrated in this contest, Clowney's value lies with his ability to impact the play-calling and personnel opponents use against South Carolina, rather than something as simple as his own statistics. Some long-time talent evaluators have recently characterized him as overrated. Some of this "scouting" has centered on some of the other talented South Carolina defenders Clowney has played with, many whom have since struggled to duplicate their collegiate success in the NFL.

While Clowney clearly hasn't been the dominant force we've all grown to expect, a variety of circumstances (including injury) may be playing a role in his posting "just" 14 tackles, three tackles for loss and two sacks in five games. Though Tennessee ultimately outlasted South Carolina, Clowney established yet again why he's a dominant prospect whose ability to impact the game on every snap will make him the first defender selected in the 2014 NFL draft. - Rob Rang, NFLDraftScout.com

10/21/2013 - Clowney's dominance overshadowed in upset loss to Tennessee...Clowney's explosiveness isn't limited to just his legs. He used his trademark swim move to great effectiveness, causing Richardson and other would-be Tennessee blockers (like senior left guard Alex Bullard) to simply whiff as he soared his arm over their heads to slip into the backfield in a blink. He also showed off his power, simply bull-rushing Richardson deep into the pocket, at times. Whatever questions scouts may have had about Clowney's motor in other contests, they couldn't question his competitiveness in this contest, as South Carolina's star defender strung out plays wide against the running game and pursued with passion yards downfield. He also got his hands up in the passing lanes when he wasn't able to collapse the pocket.

While Clowney's talent was as obvious in this matchup as any game this season, the defender wasn't without his mistakes. On several occasions, he broke into the backfield to hit running backs for a potential loss but slipped off. Worse, Clowney was called for a personal foul penalty for grabbing the face mask of running back Rajion Neal resulted in a first and goal for the Vols to extend their first drive of the second quarter. Replays showed that Clowney cleared grabbed Neal's facemask but he appeared to do so inadvertently while he stuffed the running back for what would have been his fourth tackle for loss of the first half. Instead, Tennessee quarterback Justin Worley took advantage of Clowney's mistake, hitting wideout Alton Howard to give Tennessee a 10-7 lead. - Rob Rang, NFLDraftScout.com

10/12/2013 - Jadeveon Clowney didn't make a tackle in the first three quarters of his return to action for No. 14 South Carolina on Saturday. South Carolina didn't need the junior defensive end to. The Gamecocks' defense dominated despite Clowney finishing with just one tackle, holding Arkansas to just 248 yards while cruising to a 52-7 win at Razorback Stadium. Clowney, playing for the first time in two weeks after missing the Kentucky win with a muscle strain near his rib area, was often double-teamed during the game. The 6-foot-6, 274-pounder played into the early stages of the fourth quarter in the blowout.

South Carolina (5-1, 3-1 Southeastern Conference) trailed 7-0 less than three minutes into the game, then scored the final 52 points en route to its largest margin of victory in an SEC road game in coach Steve Spurrier's nine-year tenure. Gamecocks senior quarterback Conner Shaw was sharp while playing a little more than three quarters, completing 19 of 28 passes for 219 yards and three touchdowns in addition to rushing for another score. SEC-leading rusher Mike Davis ran for 63 of his game-high 128 yards in the first quarter as South Carolina had its way with the Arkansas defense through the air and on the ground. The Gamecocks racked up 537 yards and held the ball for 43:25 in the game. - The Sports Xchange

10/10/2013 - Clowney expected to start Saturday...All-American defensive end Jadeveon Clowney will start Saturday for No. 14 South Carolina at Arkansas as long as he's healthy. Gamecocks defensive coordinator Lorenzo Ward announced Clowney's status on Thursday after practice. Clowney completed a second straight day of practice after sitting out earlier in the week with a strained muscle near his ribcage. He also missed last Saturday's game against Kentucky, deciding at the last minute that he was not healthy enough to play and angering coach Steve Spurrier.

Ward said Clowney has received treatment for the injury and that he's preparing to return to action on Saturday. "I think he's getting better every day," Ward said. "He's doing everything in his power to be ready to play." There was speculation that Clowney was finished for the season to make sure he doesn't hurt his potential No. 1 pick status in next year's NFL Draft, but Clowney disputed that arlier this week. "Regardless of what people say, I've been behind my team my whole life," he said. "I dedicate myself to this team and this university, that's why I chose to come here. - The Sports Xchange

10/09/2013 - Clowney remains committed to Gamecocks...All-America defensive end Jadeveon Clowney is working hard so he can play this week against Arkansas, South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier said Tuesday. Spurrier said he will know later in the week if Clowney has recovered enough from his injury to play on Saturday. Meanwhile, Clowney declared that he remains committed to the Gamecocks and that he is not trying avoid action to protect his NFL Draft prospects. "Jadeveon has a muscle strain near his rib area that caused him to miss the game last week against Kentucky. He was in pain," Spurrier said Tuesday. "It was diagnosed later, and obviously we all handled it poorly, all of us did."

Clowney (6-foot-6, 274 pounds) surprised his coaches last Saturday when, shortly before kickoff of the game against Kentucky, he said he was in too much pain to play. There was speculation that Clowney was finished for the season to make sure he doesn't hurt his potential No. 1 pick status in next year's NFL Draft, but Clowney disputed that talk. "Regardless of what people say, I've been behind my team my whole life," he said. "I dedicate myself to this team and this university, that's why I chose to come here." He blamed the confusion over his unavailability for last week's game on a miscommunication. "I should have handled it differently instead of just telling (Spurrier) like that, you know," Clowney said. - The Sports Xchange

10/08/2013 - Injured All-American Jadeveon Clowney is working hard so he can play against Arkansas on Saturday, South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier said on Tuesday. Spurrier said he'll know later in the week if Clowney has recovered enough from a strained muscle near his ribcage to get back on the field. Since the 6-foot-6, 274-pound defensive end said shortly before kickoff last Saturday against Kentucky that he was in too much pain to play, there have been questions about whether the potential No. 1 pick in next year's NFL draft was shutting it down for the season.

Spurrier doesn't believe Clowney is done but didn't rule out the possibility. "Let me say this about Jadeveon, if he never plays another snap, we all should be thankful and appreciative that he came to South Carolina," Spurrier said. "We've won 26 games, two 11-2 years, the greatest seasons we've had in 120 years. "So none of us need to be upset at Jadeveon. None of us." - AP Sports

10/06/2013 - Steve Spurrier promised this week to be more positive about No. 13 South Carolina. It was hard, though, to hide his displeasure about Jadeveon Clowney's absence. Clowney came to the coaches before the game and said that bruised ribs that kept him from practice Thursday were too sore for him to play. So the 6-foot-6, 274-pound All-American watched the Gamecocks' 35-28 win over Kentucky from the sidelines, chatting with teammates as South Carolina lost a large lead for the third straight game.

If Clowney "wants to play, we will welcome him to come play for the team if he wants," Spurrier said. "But he if doesn't want to play, he doesn't have to play. Simple as that." Connor Shaw threw for a touchdown and rushed for another and Mike Davis had 106 yards rushing as South Carolina (4-1, 2-1 Southeastern Conference) held off the Wildcats (1-4, 0-2).

Few had questioned Clowney's desire to play since he arrived on campus before the 2011 season. He was the SEC freshman of the year that fall, then had a 13 sacks and a school-record 23 ?? tackles for loss to lead become the league's defensive player of the year. The capper was Clowney's highlight-reel hit in the Outback Bowl and popped the helmet off of Michigan's Vincent Smith. But Clowney has not looked like that player through five games this year with 12 tackles and two sacks. He's dealt with dehydration and a flu bug against North Carolina, another virus against UCF last week and bone spurs in his right foot throughout the fall. Clowney's also watched opponents play away from him and go for large gains as some of South Carolina's new defensive starters couldn't make plays. "He may not be able to play next week. I don't know," Spurrier said. "But we're not going to worry about it, I can assure you of that." - AP Sports

10/05/2013 - South Carolina All-American defensive end Jadeveon Clowney did not suit up for No. 13 South Carolina's Southeastern Conference game against with Kentucky on Saturday night because of a rib injury. The junior suffered bruised ribs during the week and was unable to practice on Thursday. Defensive coordinator Lorenzo Ward said at the time that the staff held Clowney out of practice as a precaution but he would be available for the game. So far this season, Clowney's medical problems have included illness (twice), bone spurs in a foot and now a rib injury. - The Sports Xchange

09/16/2013 - Clowney said he's handled the pain off-and-on since high school and hopes that two weeks between games will reduce any discomfort. He appeared his most "It's painful. I'm out here playing on it, though, so I'm just trying to give everything I've got on it," he said. "Who knows what's going to happen out there? It doesn't really bother me when I am out there much. It's just builds up pain. The more I keep going on it, the more it bothers me."

Clowney said he'll likely have the foot "cleaned out" after the season, when he plans prepping for the NFL draft following the last of his three seasons with the Gamecocks. Clowney is considered the top NFL prospect for next spring's draft. South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier said Sunday he'd have had Clowney undergo the procedure this offseason if he had anticipated his lineman would be this bothered by the foot. "Just recently, I think, it started bothering him a little bit," Spurrier said. Clowney's foot problem has not kept him from practicing and he believes the down time will ease the pain. "I need it to get my foot back together," the junior said. - AP Sports

09/15/2013 - Steve Spurrier won't hang his head after No. 13 South Carolina's 35-25 win over Vanderbilt, no matter how close the Gamecocks came to blowing a four-touchdown lead. "We're not moping around," Spurrier said. "Sometimes (stuff) happens and you lose games like that." The Gamecocks (2-1, 1-1 Southeastern Conference) scored on their first-four possessions as Connor Shaw threw for three touchdowns and Jadeveon Clowney forced a third-quarter fumble Saturday night despite pain in his right foot because of troublesome bone spurs he's had since high school.

The win was the 13th straight at home for the Gamecocks, who are tied with Georgia for the second-longest active streak in the nation. South Carolina appeared to have this one finished early, scoring on its first four possessions to lead 28-0. It still led 35-10 when it opened the second half with Shaw's final TD pass, a 33-yarder to Brandon Wilds. That's when the Commodores (1-2, 0-2) threw a scare into the Gamecocks, aided by a fumbled kickoff and punt by South Carolina. Vanderbilt scored twice in a 13-second span of the fourth quarter to pull within 10 points.

Still, it was a satisfied Spurrier heading into the Gamecocks' first bye week after his team ran up 579 yards. "This might've been the best we've looked on offense since I've been here, in the first quarter anyways and then it started slowing down a little," he said. "But we'll learn from it and try and see what kind of team we're going to be this year." - AP Sports

09/15/2013 - Clowney plans to have foot surgery...South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney said he plans to have surgery on his right foot at the end of the season, but will not miss any games. Clowney has bone spurs in the foot that have been bothering him since high school. "I'm going to get it cleaned out after the season's over with," he told the Spartanburg (S.C) Herald Journal.

"It's painful. I'm out here playing on it though, just trying to give it everything I've got." South Carolina beat Vanderbilt 35-25 Saturday. Clowney has two sacks in three games this season, and forced a fumble on Saturday. South Carolina has a bye this week, giving Clowney some rest before the Gamecocks visit Central Florida next. - The Sports Xchange

09/12/2013 - DE Jadeveon Clowney re-injured the same foot that bothered him last season, but he returned to action after it happened against Georgia and did not appear to be moving any slower. QUOTE TO NOTE: "I was surprised. We worked hard all week. Game planning, we knew we had to stop the run coming into the game and we just didn't do it. We didn't come in and execute like we were supposed to." -- DE Jadeveon Clowney on USC's inability to stop the Georgia offense. - The Sports Xchange

09/12/2013 - PLAYERS TO WATCH: DE Jadeveon Clowney has has six tackles, with two for loss and one sack so far this season, but many have criticized his performance. Teams are making a more concerted effort to run away from the All-American this season. To combat that trend, defensive coordinator Lorenzo Ward moved Clowney from the right to the left side, in addition to in the middle. He even lined up at linebacker a couple times. Following South Carolina's loss to Georgia, the junior was frustrated with his lack of ability to make an impact. "I set the edge most of the night, but they ran away from me," said Clowney. "I told my coach to put me somewhere, anywhere so I could make a play for my team. Their game plan worked out for them." - The Sports Xchange

09/08/2013 - Jadeveon Clowney, Spurrier critical of defensive scheme...South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney has recognized that opponents are neutralizing his impact with their game plan, and the Gamecocks All-American has some suggestions on ways to mix it up defensively. "I told the coaches you got to put me somewhere else -- in the middle if you want to -- somewhere I can make some plays [to] help my team get in position to win," Clowney told reporters after the game. "But [Georgia] took me right out of the game."

Clowney told reporters that it was "very frustrating" to be limited -- suggesting that the Bulldogs ran plays away from Clowney's side of the field -- in the 41-30 loss to Georgia. "It's hard out there trying to chase from the backside, and they just took me right out of the game," Clowney said. "They want to move me around -- that's up to them. "I'm going to keep playing my assignments. I set the edge most of the night, [but] the ball went away from me on the backside chasing. That's just how the game went."

Identifying strengths and weaknesses is a normal piece of any game-planning. Georgia, like North Carolina the week before, had certain calls in place to run a play away from Clowney. When a once-in-a-generation defensive end is preventing you from winning a game, limiting his impact is a pretty good idea. It's not surprising or alarming. - Chip Patterson, CBSSports.com

09/07/2013 - ROB RANG'S 09/06/13 TOP 32 2014 DRAFT PROSPECTS: 1. Jadeveon Clowney*, DE, South Carolina (6-feet-6, 268 pounds): Considering the preseason hype, it is fair to characterize Clowney's season-opening performance against North Carolina as less than spectacular. Three tackles and three QB pressures despite constant double-teams, hot and humid conditions and a bout with a stomach virus, however, is hardly cause for concern. The media may panic after one lackluster performance, but scouts won't and neither will I. - Rob Rang, NFLDraftScout.com

09/06/2013 - PLAYERS TO WATCH: DE Jadeveon Clowney has been panned nationally for what many have called a subpar performance against North Carolina. Despite only picking up only three tackles and no sacks, while appearing to be winded on several occasions, the All-American and Heisman Trophy Candidate still managed to dictate play against the UNC offense by getting into the backfield. He will be counted on to have a bigger game against Georgia as their offensive line struggled against Clemson's pass rush.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "We've all watched what happened out there. Obviously, Jadeveon was not up to par. I'm not going to give him any excuses. ? I think Jadeveon learned the camera is on his every play. We won us a ball game where we weren't extremely sharp in a lot of areas we can improve on. Maybe it will be a positive for us as we move forward that he knows the camera is on him every play this season." -- South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier on Jadeveon Clowney's performance against UNC and what he expects from him against Georgia. - The Sports Xchange

08/31/2013 - ROB RANG'S 08/30/13 BIG BOARD, Clowney's perch not impenetrable...1. DE Jadeveon Clowney, South Carolina (6-6, 268, 4.65)* -- It is difficult to describe Clowney and not fall into the trap of hyperbole. He has more than lived up to his billing as the top prep prospect in the country in his first two seasons with the Gamecocks, and boasts the skill set to rank among the truly elite prospects of his generation. - Rob Rang, NFLDraftScout.com

08/30/2013 - SEC notebook: Conditioning questioned after opener...South Carolina All-American defensive end and Heisman hopeful Jadeveon Clowney was credited with three tackles and no sacks in Thursday's primetime opener against North Carolina. He did register three quarterback hurries, but cramped up a few times in the second half and a bunch of the post-game chatter centered around the Gamecocks conditioning. "I was pretty tired but you have to play through that," Clowney said. "I was still coming off the ball and that's what that matters. I might be bent over sometimes but when that ball snaps, I was getting off."

Defensive coordinator Lorenzo Ward thought all South Carolina players struggled with being fatigue. "It wasn't just Clowney," Ward said. "I think the entire defense got winded. We knew coming in that (UNC) was going to hurry up. We tried to stimulate it in practice but that was the fastest team I've ever seen." - The Sports Xchange

08/29/2013 - TOP SOUTH CAROLINA PROSPECTS FOR THE 2014 NFL DRAFT: 1. DE Jadeveon Clowney (6-5, 268, 4.56)*...It is difficult to describe Clowney, NFLDraftScout.com's top-rated overall prospect, and not venture into hyperbole. Over the next six months, a quarterback could overtake him as a more valuable player to NFL teams. If the draft were held today, however, there is no question that Clowney would be the top pick.

The Rock Hill, South Carolina native signed with the Gamecocks as the consensus top overall prep in the country two years ago and has lived up to the hype since, recording 35.5 tackles for loss, 21 quarterback sacks and eight forced fumbles during that time. Clowney's production is all the more startling considering that he's only started 13 games for the Gamecocks, having to work his way up the ladder behind future NFL pass rushers Melvin Ingram and Devin Taylor. - Rob Rang, NFLDraftScout.com

08/29/2013 - TOP SOUTH CAROLINA PROSPECTS FOR THE 2014 NFL DRAFT: 1. DE Jadeveon Clowney (6-5, 268, 4.56)*...Of course, it isn't Clowney's production that will get him drafted highly but the remarkable explosiveness that he possesses which leads to his eye-popping numbers. Clowney can beat tackles with his initial burst off the snap and he accelerates smoothly, gaining speed as he turns the corner. He has good power to push his opponent back on the bull-rush but uses his strength as a complement to his quick feet and active hands.

Clowney's most famous hit (of Michigan running back Vincent Smith) perfectly illustrates the explosive hitting he can provide. Many of Clowney's victims, however, are grabbed and thrown to the ground by the powerful South Carolina defender. Clowney pursues with great speed and has the long arms and strong hands to rip away at the ball as he's making the tackle.

Clowney enters his junior campaign as a legitimate Heisman Trophy contender. His ability to impact the game at the line of scrimmage is like nothing college football has seen since Ndamukong Suh was terrorizing Big 12 opponents as a member of the Nebraska Cornhuskers. - Rob Rang, NFLDraftScout.com

08/29/2013 - Scouting the South Carolina pass defense: The Gamecocks pass defense will be as good as its pass rush. Led by All-American Jadeveon Clowney, that portion of the team's attack should be outstanding. Clowney finished the 2012 season with 23.5 tackles for loss, including 13 sacks. Chaz Sutton, who moves into the other starting end slot, had seven tackles for loss and five sacks as a reserve. The team boasts two outstanding cornerbacks with junior Victor Hampton the best of the bunch. There is not a lot of proven depth at the position, which is a concern. USC was fifth in the SEC and 21st overall last season. - The Sports Xchange

08/29/2013 - Mike Davis ran 75 yards for a touchdown, Connor Shaw and Dylan Thompson each threw long scoring passes and All-American Jadeveon Clowney helped No. 6 South Carolina's defense hold North Carolina to its lowest point total under coach Larry Fedora in a 27-10 victory Thursday night. The game was delayed nearly two hours in the fourth quarter by rain. The Gamecocks were already in control by that then.

Clowney did not have a sack and finished with three first-half tackles. The Tar Heels' fast-paced offense wore him down and forced him to the sideline for several pit stops, yet he and the defense mostly hemmed in North Carolina. Shaw and Thompson put South Carolina up 17-0 in the opening quarter. Shaw found Shaq Roland for a 65-yard touchdown on the game's third play. Thompson threw a 29-yard TD to Kane Whitehurst later in the quarter.

It's been a steady stream of chatter about all things Clowney the past eight months, since knocking the helmet off a Michigan runner in the Outback Bowl. Should he sit out the year and protect his draft status as next year's No. 1 pick? How much insurance should he take out? (He has $5 million worth.) Can he become the first defense-only player to win the Heisman Trophy? If he makes it to New York for the Heisman Trophy presentation in December, he likely won't have this game on his highlight reel. - AP Sports

08/29/2013 - Clowney good (and tired) in 2013 debut...The consensus elite prospect in the country, Jadeveon Clowney was good - but not dominant - in the first game of what is widely expected to be his final season at South Carolina. Primarily lining up opposite Preseason All-American left tackle James Hurst, Clowney was "only" credited with three tackles prior to a weather delay suspending game action in the mid fourth quarter. When blocked one on one by Hurst, Clowney frequently impacted plays, penetrating into the backfield to force quick throws by senior Bryn Renner and forcing backs into the arms of teammates. UNC did everything they could schematically against Clowney, double-teaming him, running misdirection away from him and screens over the top of him.

Considering the hype Clowney has received, those focusing on him for the first time Thursday night might have left disappointed. The attention from UNC (and a game-time temperature of 96 degrees) clearly had Clowney winded. He was subbed for most of UNC's lone scoring drive of the first half and did not make the type of impactful plays he has throughout his first two dominating seasons in the SEC.

This was a home game for Clowney and the Gamecocks so scouts may have a hard time excusing the star defensive end's exhaustion. As such, for the handful of NFL talent evaluators watching No. 7 for the first time Thursday night, Clowney's first impression could be that, while talented, he needs to work on his conditioning to warrant his hype. Clowney's 2013 debut may lack the sizzle to spark a Heisman campaign but taken in context with the rest of his sparkling career, his status as NFLDraftScout.com's top-rated prospect potentially available for the 2014 NFL draft is secure. - Rob Rang, NFLDraftScout.com

08/27/2013 - GRADING CBSSPORTS.COM'S ALL-AMERICA TEAM AS NFL PROSPECTS: DE Jadeveon Clowney, South Carolina (6-6, 272, Jr.)...Barring injury, Mr. Clowney will be a top-three draft pick next May and it's easy to see why with his freakish skill-set that creates mismatches rushing off the edge. His combination of size, power and athleticism makes him one of the best defensive prospects to enter the NFL over the last decade. - Rob Rang, NFLDraftScout.com

08/26/2013 - 2013 PRESEASON ALL-SEC FIRST TEAM (COACHES): DL - Jadeveon Clowney, South Carolina,...Clowney was a unanimous All-America selection as a sophomore last season. The SEC's Defensive Player of the Year finished sixth in the Heisman Trophy balloting after recording 54 tackles, including a school-record 23.5 tackles for loss and a school-record 13.0 quarterback sacks. Clowney, the reigning Hendricks Award winner as the nation's top defensive end, is a unanimous preseason first-team All-American heading into the 2013 campaign. - South Carolina football

08/14/2013 - Jadeveon Clowney won't, in fact, sit out South Carolina's season opener against North Carolina. Citing Clowney's nagging shoulder injury and seemingly unhappy with several players "act[ing] like they're really hurt," Steve Spurrier said after Monday's practice might not play against the Tar Heels. That was always likely to be more motivational ploy than actual threat, though, and Spurrier confirmed Wednesday that Clowney will see the field Aug. 29. Clowney is "back in good graces. He's back in the fold," Spurrier told The State. "He's going to play against North Carolina."

Spurrier explained after Tuesday's practice that there had been a "communication problem" between himself, Clowney, and other injured Gamecocks Damiere Byrd and Bruce Ellington -- players who Spurrier expected to watch practice rather than be "in the locker room jivin' around and playing on their cell phones," as he put it. But Spurrier admitted that no one told them they were supposed to be watching practice, and all three returned Tuesday, with Clowney and Byrd participating. "I'm the dummy on that," Spurrier said. "We had a communication problem and we're ready to go." - Jerry Hinnen, CBSSports.com

08/14/2013 - 2013 TED HENDRICKS AWARD PRESEASON WATCH LIST: Jadeveon Clowney, South Carolina,...Clowney is the defending Hendricks Award winner. The SEC's 2012 Defensive Player of the Year finished sixth in the Heisman Trophy balloting after recording 54 tackles, including a school record 23.5 tackles for loss and a school record 13.0 quarterback sacks. A unanimous first-team All-American a year ago, he has been named to every SEC preseason all-conference team and every preseason All-America squad this year. He is also listed on several national preseason "watch lists" including the Maxwell, Bednarik, Rotary Lombardi, Walter Camp and Nagurski awards. - South Carolina football

08/14/2013 - SEC'S 10 MOST IMPORTANT PLAYERS IN 2013: 2. South Carolina DE Jadeveon Clowney...It is virtually impossible for avid sports fan to go a day without hearing the junior All-American's name or watching a video of a superhuman feat he's performed. Although still not a vocal leader, he has become the soul of the team and leader of the defense simply because he normally draws double- and triple-teams which clears the way for teammates. Defensive coordinator Lorenzo Ward plans to line his star up in several position to take advantage and both his strength and speed as the 6-6, 274-pounder was recently timed in the 40-yard dash at 4.46 seconds. - Jeff Reynolds, The Sports Xchange

08/13/2013 - South Carolina All-American Jadeveon Clowney has returned to practice after missing the past two sessions with a bruised shoulder. Clowney sat out Saturday's scrimmage and Monday night's practice before returning to the field on Tuesday. South Carolina did not practice Sunday. Gamecocks defensive coordinator Lorenzo Ward had said that Clowney's injury was not serious.

South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier may have sped up Clowney's return to the field, saying that if the defensive end's shoulder didn't show improvement soon, the Gamecocks might have to go without him in the opener against North Carolina on Aug. 29. Clowney had 13 sacks last season and was named the Southeastern Conference's defensive player of the year. He finished sixth in the Heisman Trophy balloting behind winner quarterback Johnny Manziel of Texas A&M. - AP Sports

08/11/2013 - South Carolina All-America defensive end Jadeveon Clowney sat out Saturday's scrimmage because of a sore shoulder, while Gamecocks quarterback Connor Shaw was off target in his first action since offseason foot surgery. Still, Gamecocks coach Steve Spurrier thought it was a solid showing his offense in the 90-minute session at Williams-Brice Stadium. "Overall, I would say the offense played a little bit better today," Spurrier said. "Some of the second (team) offensive linemen showed some improvement, so that was encouraging."

It's hard for Gamecock fans to be hopeful when they see Clowney in street clothes instead of his fearsome No. 7 uniform. Defensive coordinator Lorenzo Ward said there's nothing to worry about. Ward said Clowney's condition wasn't serious and the defensive lineman wasn't expected to play much anyway as coaches got a look at South Carolina's younger defenders. "I guess he bruised it, but it's fine," Ward said. "We weren't going to play him anyway." - AP Sports

08/08/2013 - The NCAA will no longer sell athletic jerseys on its website. NCAA president Mark Emmert acknowledged Thursday during a conference call with reporters that offering the apparel on its e-commerce site -- ShopNCAASports.com -- was a "mistake" and "hypocritical" when the athletes gain no profit from the revenue. He said all such items would be taken off the site as quickly as possible.

USA Today found this week in a web search that typing in a player's name such as Alabama quarterback A.J. McCarron would bring up his jersey on an NCAA site. College basketball commentator Jay Bilas also drew attention to the issue with his critical posts on Twitter after doing similar searches this week. "There's no compelling reason the NCAA should essentially be re-selling paraphernalia from institutions," Emmert said. "I can't speak to why we entered into that enterprise, but it's not something that's appropriate for us, and we're going to exit it."

Emmert does not believe the NCAA made money off the sale of the merchandise, but going forward, he said, the site will only offer merchandise with the NCAA logo and not team jerseys. "I think the business of having the NCAA sell those kind of goods is a mistake," he said. "It was inappropriate for us to be in that business, and I can certainly see how that would be seen as hypocritical." The e-commerce site is copyrighted by Fanatics Retail Group but branded with the NCAA's official logo and links to NCAA.com. The NCAA is also facing multiple lawsuits over the names and likenesses of college athletes. - The Sports Xchange

08/07/2013 - Ohio State and South Carolina determined that NCAA violations were not committed by quarterback Braxton Miller and defensive end Jadeveon Clowney after the schools were made aware of signed memorabilia from the star players appearing for sale online. Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith said Wednesday that Miller, a junior, had no knowledge of the items being sold. Smith added that the university discussed the matter with Miller after learning about it on Sunday. "We talked to Braxton, the whole thing, and there's nothing there," Smith said, according to ESPN.com.

South Carolina associate athletics director Chris Rogers said the school also found no wrongdoing on Clowney's part. "We have investigated things that have been on eBay with him and student-athletes before," Roger told The State newspaper. "In the situations I can say we looked into, there was no further for us to go." South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier stood behind Clowney while speaking with reporters. "I really believe Jadeveon has never accepted anything for signing an autograph," Spurrier said.

Spurrier has closed South Carolina's practices in part to keep autograph seekers away. "He's such a nice guy," Spurrier said of Clowney. "Marcus Lattimore was the same way. They signed almost everything. Some guy will say my kid has a mom with cancer. You get all kinds of stories to get them to sign and they hate to say no. And I've usually told both of them, 'Tell them Coach Spurrier says they can't sign, it's against the rules.' But the little kids and whatever -- they're going to sign." - The Sports Xchange

07/25/2013 - South Carolina determined that no NCAA rules were violated when Gamecocks defensive end Jadeveon Clowney and sports agent Jay-Z made contact. "Based on the facts that USC has gathered, Jadeveon Clowney has not had any impermissible conversations nor has he received any impermissible benefits," said Steve Fink, South Carolina's assistant director of athletics for media relations, in a news release.

South Carolina's compliance office launched an investigation earlier this week when the contact was reported. NCAA rules allow college players to interact with agents but not to accept money or benefits, including meals, from them. Clowney, a junior, is expected to enter the NFL Draft after the upcoming season and is projected as a potential No. 1 pick.

Jaz-Z started Roc Nation Sports earlier this year to represent athletes and has picked up some high-profile clients that include Robinson Cano of the New York Yankees and Kevin Durant of the Oklahoma City Thunder. - The Sports Xchange

07/25/2013 - 2013 PRESEASON ALL-SEC FIRST TEAM (MEDIA): DL - Jadeveon Clowney, South Carolina (223)...Clowney, a 6-6, 274-pounder from Rock Hill, S.C., was a unanimous All-America selection as a sophomore last season. The SEC's Defensive Player of the Year finished sixth in the Heisman Trophy balloting after recording 54 tackles, including a school record 23.5 tackles for loss and a school record 13.0 quarterback sacks. Clowney was a finalist last year for the Bednarik Award and is one of only six defensive players in the country named to the Maxwell Award Watch List. - South Carolina football

07/24/2013 - South Carolina's athletic compliance department is looking into contact between defensive end Jadeveon Clowney and rap mogul turned sports agency head, Jay-Z. Spokesman Steve Fink said Wednesday the department was aware of reports about conversations between Jay-Z and Clowney, the 6-foot-6, 274-pound lineman who's considered the top pick in next year's NFL draft.

Athletes are permitted under NCAA rules to talk with agents, just not reach agreements about future representation. Athletes cannot accept benefits from agents or their representatives while in college. Clowney had 13 sacks last season. He was the Southeastern Conference defensive player of the year and finished sixth in Heisman Trophy balloting. Clowney won an ESPY award last week for his signature hit in the Outback Bowl when he dislodged the helmet of Michigan runner Vincent Smith. - AP Sports

07/23/2013 - South Carolina's compliance department is checking into the possibility of contact being made between defensive end Jadevon Clowney, considered one of the top prospects for the 2014 NFL Draft, and rapper/agent Jay-Z. Steve Fink, assistant director of athletics for media relations, told NFL Draft 365 in an email that the university is checking into the report as and investigating any potential violations.

According to NCAA rules, players are not permitted to accept cash or benefits from agents while they have college eligibility remaining. Clowney, a junior, is expected to enter the NFL Draft after the upcoming season. Jaz-Z started Roc Nation Sports earlier this year to represent athletes and has picked up some high-profile clients.

South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier told ESPN.com that Clowney is aware of the NCAA rules regarding agents. "Wait until you have played your last game at South Carolina," Spurrier said. "When the bowl game is over this coming season, he's free to accept any amount of money anybody wants to give him. But until then he has to be a student-athlete like all the other guys or he's not going to be eligible. He's done a good job of knowing that." - The Sports Xchange

07/20/2013 - 2013 WALTER CAMP WATCH LIST: DE Jadeveon Clowney, South Carolina...Clowney, a 6-6, 274-pound junior defensive end, was a Walter Camp first team All-American a year ago. The SEC's Defensive Player of the Year finished sixth in the Heisman Trophy balloting after recording 54 tackles, including a school record 23.5 tackles for loss and a school record 13.0 quarterback sacks. He was named to the preseason first team All-SEC squad on Thursday and has been listed on several national preseason "watch lists" including the Maxwell, Bednarik, Rotary Lombardi and Nagurski awards. - South Carolina football

07/20/2013 - It was quite a week for South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney - and the football season is still six weeks away. The Gamecocks' All-American defensive end picked up an ESPY award for his helmet-popping play, entertained hundreds at Southeastern Conference media days, issued a few friendly challenges to rivals and got to meet LeBron James. ''Yeah, that was something,'' Clowney said, still flying high after departing the plane from his coast-to-coast adventures.

Clowney accepted the trophy for best play from last year. His hit on Michigan's Vincent Smith blew loose the running back's helmet and the ball, allowing Clowney to recover it easily in South Carolina's Outback Bowl victory. Earlier in the week, the 6-foot-6, 274-pound Clowney promised more disruption once the games start in his final college season. - AP Sports

07/18/2013 - South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney won the ESPY Award for "Best Play" Wednesday night in Los Angeles for his hit and fumble recovery during the Gamecocks' Outback Bowl victory over Michigan on January 1, 2013. Clowney's play earned the No. 1 seed in the bracket of 16 nominees, narrowed down by three rounds of bracket-style online voting that started on June 27. The play went viral in social media almost immediately, garnering millions of views on YouTube and a record streak as ESPN's SportsCenter Top Play.

The play in the Outback Bowl capped off a fantastic sophomore season for Clowney that saw him win the Ted Hendricks Award for best defensive end, earn unanimous All-America status, SEC Defensive Player of the Year, school records in tackles for loss and sacks, and numerous other honors. - South Carolina football

07/18/2013 - 2013 LOMBARDI AWARD WATCH LIST: DE Jadeveon Clowney, South Carolina...Clowney, a 6-6, 274-pounder from Rock Hill, S.C., was a unanimous All-America selection as a sophomore last season. The SEC's Defensive Player of the Year finished sixth in the Heisman Trophy balloting after recording 54 tackles, including a school record 23.5 tackles for loss and a school record 13.0 quarterback sacks. Last week, Clowney was named to the Maxwell Award, Bednarik Award and Nagurski Award watch lists. - South Carolina football

07/17/2013 - Clowney, who is a Heisman candidate as well a member of both the Lombardi and Bronko Nagurski watch lists this season, said he lets his play speak for himself on the field and does not resort to taunting. Last season he recorded 54 tackles, including 23.5 tackles for loss. Against archrival Clemson and Boyd, he compiled a career-high 4.5 sacks in a 27-17 win. "We know that coming into the game that we have him shook already," Clowney explained. "We get a couple hits on him and it changes the whole game. He's scared every time we play them. I know he's probably listening to this right now, but I'm just telling the truth, man." Clowney, who finished sixth in the Heisman voting last year, downplayed individual awards. "That's not really a goal for me," he said. "A goal for me is winning the SEC. That's our biggest goal right now." - The Sports Xchange

07/17/2013 - When South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney plays, he usually is the focal point of just about everyone in the stadium. When Jadeveon Clowney speaks, everyone listens and Tuesday everyone was listening when Clowney spoke during the SEC media days at Hoover, Ala. His message that quarterbacks were "scared" to face the Gamecocks defensive line was sure to be heard loud and clear from Arkansas to Georgia to South Carolina. "I can tell Tajh Boyd is scared back there," Clowney, talking about Clemson's quarterback, told ESPN. "He ain't no sitting duck, but you can see in his eyes that he's scared of our D-linemen." The 6-foot-6, 247-pound lineman said he knows fear when he sees it in an opponent's eyes and he said he saw it quite often last season. Boyd was not alone, Clowney said. Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray and former Arkansas quarterback Tyler Wilson were scared, too. Clowney said there was another SEC quarterback who was scared but he didn't name him. "You can look at a guy and tell that he's scared," Clowney said. "If he's staring at me before the ball is snapped and he's staring at me every play before the ball is snapped, oh we got him. I tell the players that he's shook." - The Sports Xchange

07/16/2013 - South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier adds another entry in the growing legend of Jadeveon Clowney. Spurrier said Tuesday at the Southeastern Conference media days that his All-America defensive end ran a 4.4 40 at the end of summer workouts. Clowney is regarded as a legitimate Heisman Trophy candidate a year after Notre Dame linebacker Manti Teo finished second. Clowney was sixth. But Spurrier says his star defender has done a good job staying out of the limelight and been a good teammate. The Gamecocks coach was even asked if there was a chance that Clowney could play on offense. His response: ''Not really. We got a bunch of offensive players that are pretty good.'' - AP Sports

07/16/2013 - There was all kinds of buzz surrounding Jadeveon Clowney's Heisman hopes at SEC media days, but the South Carolina defensive end wasn't having any of it. "The Heisman is not a big deal for me," he told assembled media on Tuesday. "Winning the SEC championship's a big deal to me. Getting drafted high is a big deal." Publicly downplaying his interest in the bronze statue is probably a smart approach to take. After all, no pure defensive player has ever won the trophy and Clowney's chances of making history are slim, despite the hype surrounding his candidacy. But don't believe for a second that he doesn't want to win the Heisman. A player at his level is nothing if not a competitor and the possibility of capturing the most prestigious individual honor in sports is a siren call few can resist.

Besides, he's already got a good strategy to avoid the kind of trouble that can derail a run at the Heisman. Pay attention, Johnny Manziel: "Just stay out of bars and stay off Twitter," he said. But if Tuesday was any indication, Clowney doesn't need Twitter to talk smack. He had some choice words for the quarterback of his team's archrival. "You can see in his eyes that he's scared of our D-line," Clowney said of Clemson quarterback Tajh Boyd, who he sacked 4.5 times last season. "He is scared every time we play them. I know he's listening to this right now, but I'm telling the truth." Clowney didn't reserve all his disdain for Boyd. He also included Georgia's Aaron Murray and Nebraska's Taylor Martinez on his list of "scared" quarterbacks. - Chris Huston, CBSSports.com

07/13/2013 - 2013 MAXWELL AWARD WATCH LIST: DE Jadeveon Clowney, South Carolina...The SEC's Defensive Player of the Year finished sixth in the Heisman Trophy balloting after recording 54 tackles, including a school record 23.5 tackles for loss and a school record 13.0 quarterback sacks. Clowney was a finalist last year for the Bednarik Award and is one of only six defensive players in the country named to the Maxwell Award Watch List. - South Carolina football

07/13/2013 - 2013 BEDNARIK AWARD WATCH LIST: DE Jadeveon Clowney, South Carolina...Clowney, a 6-6, 274-pounder from Rock Hill, S.C., was a unanimous All-America selection as a sophomore last season. The SEC's Defensive Player of the Year finished sixth in the Heisman Trophy balloting after recording 54 tackles, including a school record 23.5 tackles for loss and a school record 13.0 quarterback sacks. Clowney was a finalist last year for the Bednarik Award and is one of only six defensive players in the country named to the Maxwell Award Watch List. - South Carolina football

07/13/2013 - 2013 BRONKO NAGURSKI TROPHY WATCH LIST: Jadeveon Clowney, South Carolina, DL...Clowney was a unanimous All-America selection as a sophomore last season. The SEC's Defensive Player of the Year finished sixth in the Heisman Trophy balloting after recording 54 tackles, including a school record 23.5 tackles for loss and a school record 13.0 quarterback sacks. Clowney was a finalist last year for the Bednarik Award and is one of only six defensive players in the country named to the Maxwell Award Watch List. - South Carolina football

05/31/2013 - South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier said Thursday he thinks it would be "very difficult" for star junior defensive end Jadeveon Clowney to win the Heisman Trophy. The award for college football's best player has been traditionally given to an offensive player since its inception, though Michigan's Charles Woodson broke the mold by winning the Heisman as a three-way player (cornerback, wide receiver, kick returner) in 1997.

The 6-foot-6, 256-pound Clowney has already been projected as the No. 1 overall pick of the 2014 NFL draft due to his pass-rushing ability. As a sophomore, Clowney had 13 sacks, including 4.5 against rival Clemson. "It would be very difficult," Spurrier said before his "Great Floridian" ceremony at Florida Field. "He'd have to cause a lot more fumbles and maybe pick one up and score, or something like that."

Spurrier knows a thing or two about Heisman Trophy campaigns. He was part of the first one in 1966, winning the award following an aggressive pitch from UF's sports information department. But Spurrier said he doesn't expect mass promotion for Clowney next season.

"We don't really try to promote our guys too much," Spurrier said. "If they have a big year, they'll naturally get all the attention and all the publicity worldwide now. We try to encourage our entire team to earn team goals, trying to win our division, win the SEC, bowl games and things of that nature. But Jadeveon he could have a chance, again some of those big plays, pick up a fumble and score, intercept a pass, something like that." - Kevin Brockway, The Gainesville Sun

05/28/2013 - The NFL has pushed the 2014 draft two weeks later but otherwise will not be changing the league's calendar, it was announced Tuesday. The 2014 NFL Draft will take place May 8-10 inside of Radio City Music Hall in New York. The news doesn't come as a surprise. Commissioner Roger Goodell warned during the league meetings that next year's draft would be pushed into May because of a scheduling conflict with the iconic hall, which was reportedly already booked for an Easter celebration.

Rather than simply move the league's most popular offseason event to a different location, the NFL chose to push the draft back two weeks. While the draft itself was moved, the NFL calendar otherwise will remain the same, with the annual scouting combine scheduled for February 18-25 in Indianapolis and the league year officially beginning on March 11.

The revised schedule gives teams two more weeks to prepare (or over-think) their draft strategy. Before Tuesday's announcement, some coaches and front office personnel publicly criticized the revised schedule, citing the need to acclimate the rookies to their new teams. This specific concern was addressed as part of the league's statement, Tuesday. "The change in the date of the 2014 Draft will have no effect on when rookies may begin to report to their clubs, the dates of offseason programs or the length of offseason programs," the statement said.

The greater disruption could come outside of the league as colleges could see a rise in personal Pro Day workouts throughout the late spring. No plans for the location or date for the 2015 draft have been released. - Rob Rang, NFLDraftScout.com

05/21/2013 - 2013 FREAKS LIST: THE 20 CRAZIEST ATHLETES IN COLLEGE FOOTBALL: 1. Jadeveon Clowney, South Carolina, DE: When Clowney arrived in Columbia two years ago as the nation's No. 1 recruit, he was a chiseled 6-foot-6, 238 pounder with explosiveness that had college recruiters raving. He was also "a recipe for disaster," said Connolly. "When he walked in the door he was a Ferrari engine in a Yugo. He was extremely explosive but he needed to stabilize a lot of his joints to help keep him injury free."

Since then Clowney has blossomed into a 275-pound guy who has many seeing him as the first pick in next year's NFL Draft and a viable Heisman Trophy candidate. "His first step was lightning, and that's just who is he and what God gave him," said Connolly. "The difference with him is that he's faster at 275 now. He's even more explosive and powerful at 275, which is frightening."

Clowney was tested by Gamecock coaches the week before South Carolina started spring ball. He vertical jumped 38 inches and clocked a 4.54 40 weighing 274 pounds. A year ago, he ran a 4.58 at 257. A year ago, Clowney's teammate, Devin Taylor made the Freaks List. A former state triple jump champ, Taylor was a 6-7, 267-pounder who broad-jumped almost 11 feet. "Devin was fluid and extremely smooth. Clowney is violent," said Connolly. "Devin will play in the NFL for a long time. Clowney is more violent than anybody I've ever seen. There is a violence to his first step. I've never seen anybody with more first-step quickness than he has. He's off the ball while the ball is still in the center's hands. His explosiveness is unparalleled." - Bruce Feldman, CBSSports.com

05/16/2013 - Don't block Jadeveon Clowney...You'll just make him mad. Everybody remembers the monster hit that the South Carolina defensive end put on Michigan running back Vincent Smith in the Outback Bowl. But this spring Gamecocks' defensive coordinator Lorenzo Ward told me the story behind the story. You'll recall that the play before the big hit, the officials mistakenly gave Michigan a first down despite a measurement that was clearly short. "Our bench went crazy and Jadeveon came up to me and said 'Coach! They are cheating! They are cheating!,'" Ward said. "He was mad."

Ward decided that it would be a good idea to channel that anger. So on the next play he decided to turn Clowney loose and send him straight for the ball. "When Jadeveon doesn't want to be blocked," Ward said. "He can't be blocked." Uh, yeah. - Tony Barnhart, CBSSports.com

 
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05/12/2014 - Houston says hello to Clowney...General manager Rick Smith thought about trading the pick, but he didn't find anyone who'd agree to his steep demands. He wasn't going to give up Clowney without an offer too good to refuse. The coaches are excited about pairing Clowney with defensive end J.J. Watt in passing situations. Five members of the front seven will be Watt, Clowney, Mercilus, Reed and inside linebacker Brian Cushing. "I want to learn," Clowney said. "I want to be great. Now that I'm in the NFL, hopefully, I'll be a Hall of Famer someday."

The Texans now prep for Friday's second round, when they again begin the night with the first pick -- this time, No. 33 overall. Fresno State quarterback Derek Carr and Eastern Illinois quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo are among the candidates to be chosen at that spot, but reports also circulated Thursday that the Texans could go the veteran route, possibly acquiring former Bill O'Brien pupil Ryan Mallett from the New England Patriots. - The Sports Xchange

 

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