NCAA FB

South Carolina, Clowney back on field

Image: South Carolina DE Jadeveon Clowney (©Kim Klement/USA Today Sports)
At 6-foot-6, 256-pounds, Jadeveon Clowney is nearly impossible to block.
Share This Story

   
 

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP)

Jadeveon Clowney is back on the football field, getting ready for another season - at South Carolina.

After an offseason of questions about whether the defensive end should play college ball this fall and risk being injured, he let his actions show how he felt Tuesday. He participated in drills, working on his technique in preparation for the Gamecocks' 2013 season.

Several NFL analysts say the 6-foot-6, 256-pound sophomore -- who did not speak with reporters after his workout -- would be the first pick in this year's draft if he were eligible to turn pro.

''He understands this is a big year for coming for him performance-wise, academically and athletically,'' Gamecocks defensive coordinator Lorenzo Ward said. ''He's doing well the last two or three weeks handling the situation.''

Clowney's been the face of college football since his hit on Michigan's Vincent Smith -- ESPN's version on YouTube has gotten over 3.2 million viewings -- sent the runner's helmet flying and laid the player out flat before Clowney reached out with one hand to retrieve the ball. That's led plenty of debate whether Clowney should gamble his high pro draft position with another season of college ball.

Clowney never thought about that scenario, Ward said.

The player and his parents met with Ward soon after South Carolina's 33-28 Outback Bowl victory simply to talk about what Clowney needed to do to improve.

''It wasn't an issue with them. It wasn't an issue with us,'' Ward said. ''That's why he's out here practicing.''

Clowney looked at home on the practice field. Ward and head coach Steve Spurrier stopped by to talk and wish him well during pre-workout stretches before Clowney broke out for position drills led by first-year defensive line coach Deke Adams. Adams made Clowney go through the tackling dummies a second time when the player didn't do it crisply enough. ''Good, good. Much better,'' Adams told him.

Clowney hurried off the field across from Williams-Brice Stadium when the session was over.

''We've talked to him a little bit,'' Spurrier said. ''He's an exuberant young man and he's handled it pretty well. We'll work with him.''

Clowney's lived in a spotlight since high school as the country's No. 1 college prospect coming out of South Pointe High School. He delayed his college choice nearly two weeks after signing day in 2011, picking South Carolina over Alabama and Clemson. Clowney was the Southeastern Conference's freshman of the year that fall and took his game to another level this season, recording 4 1-2 sacks in the Gamecocks 27-17 win over rival Clemson last November.

Count on Clowney again being one of South Carolina's most talked-about players. He said last fall he hoped to contend for the Heisman Trophy, college football's top prize, before finishing up his time with the Gamecocks. To do that, he'll need a sharp focus, something teammate Kaiwan Lewis says he's shown through all the talk about Clowney's future.

''We were with him nearly every single day,'' said Lewis, a linebacker. ''It was a funny situation because it didn't really affect him.''

Ward, the second-year defensive coordinator, said if Clowney had given up on this season, it would have made a bad impression with pro teams.

''There's not an NFL owner who would tell Clowney to sit out the season,'' Ward said. ''One of the last guys to challenge the league was (Ohio State tailback) Maurice Clarett. Where is he?''

Clowney tied for third nationally in the Football Bowl Subdivision with 13 sacks and was second in the country with 23 1-2 tackles for loss. Ward said he'll work his All-American as hard as possible since Clowney needs to improve in giving consistent effort.

''If I get him to play 100 percent every time, he might be unstoppable,'' Ward said. ''If he wants to be the number one player picked in the draft, he's got to play hard. He understands that.''

Tagged: South Carolina, Jadeveon Clowney

Related Stories

Member Comments

Please note by clicking on "Post comment" you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Use and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Be Polite. Inappropriate posts may be removed by the moderator.

powered by

College Football Pick'em on FOX


NCAA FB Videos

Sumlin annoyed by media's Manziel questions Posted: Jul 16, 2014
Kevin Sumlin responds to questions about life after Johnny Football by toying wi...

AJ Pasquale's journey back to UCLA Posted: Jun 17, 2014
UCLA football ops intern AJ Pasquale describes his own personal journey after th...

Winston issued adult civil citation Posted: Apr 30, 2014
Get the latest news surrounding Jameis Winston's recent shoplifting fiasco.

Get Inside the Locker Room with Scout.com

Fox Sports Store

    itemName itemURL imageSrc price itemDescription
    Nike Florida Gators Gridiron 2012 Team Issue T-Shirt - Royal Blue http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Florida_Gators/browse/featuredproduct/759777/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_759000/ff_759777_xl.jpg&w=100 24.95 Nike Florida Gators Gridiron 2012 Team Issue T-Shirt - Royal Blue
    Nike Michigan State Spartans Football 2012 Team Issue T-Shirt - White http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Michigan_State_Spartans/browse/featuredproduct/760171/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_760000/ff_760171_xl.jpg&w=100 24.95 Nike Michigan State Spartans Football 2012 Team Issue T-Shirt - White
    Nike USC Trojans Fight On My School T-Shirt - Cardinal http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_USC_Trojans/browse/featuredproduct/761373/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_761000/ff_761373_xl.jpg&w=100 24.95 Nike USC Trojans Fight On My School T-Shirt - Cardinal
    Nike Alabama Crimson Tide Elite Force Coaches Sideline Performance Polo - Crimson http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Alabama_Crimson_Tide/browse/featuredproduct/829709/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_829000/ff_829709_xl.jpg&w=100 64.95 Nike Alabama Crimson Tide Elite Force Coaches Sideline Performance Polo - Crimso..
    Nike LSU Tigers Elite Force Coaches Sideline Performance Polo - Purple http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_LSU_Tigers/browse/featuredproduct/829740/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_829000/ff_829740_xl.jpg&w=100 49.99 Nike LSU Tigers Elite Force Coaches Sideline Performance Polo - Purple
    Nike Oklahoma Sooners Legacy 91 Dri-FIT Adjustable Coaches Cap - Crimson http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Oklahoma_Sooners/browse/featuredproduct/830935/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_830000/ff_830935_xl.jpg&w=100 21.95 Nike Oklahoma Sooners Legacy 91 Dri-FIT Adjustable Coaches Cap - Crimson
    adidas Notre Dame Fighting Irish Hot Sideline Jacket - Navy Blue http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Notre_Dame_Fighting_Irish/browse/featuredproduct/861243/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_861000/ff_861243_xl.jpg&w=100 69.95 adidas Notre Dame Fighting Irish Hot Sideline Jacket - Navy Blue
    adidas Nebraska Cornhuskers Sideline Hot Quarter Zip Jacket - Scarlet http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Nebraska_Cornhuskers/browse/featuredproduct/861247/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_861000/ff_861247_xl.jpg&w=100 69.95 adidas Nebraska Cornhuskers Sideline Hot Quarter Zip Jacket - Scarlet
    Nike Alabama Crimson Tide 2012 BCS National Champions Players Locker Room Snapback Hat - Charcoal/Black http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Alabama_Crimson_Tide/browse/featuredproduct/1087345/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1087000/ff_1087345_xl.jpg&w=100 29.95 Nike Alabama Crimson Tide 2012 BCS National Champions Players Locker Room Snapba..
    Nike Alabama Crimson Tide 2012 BCS National Champions Locker Room T-Shirt - Ash http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Alabama_Crimson_Tide/browse/featuredproduct/1093431/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1093000/ff_1093431_xl.jpg&w=100 24.95 Nike Alabama Crimson Tide 2012 BCS National Champions Locker Room T-Shirt - Ash