University of South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney was on the sideline when a teammate suffered a major injury that will affect his NFL draft stock.
While such is the inherent risk in playing football, Clowney is taking no chances when it comes to taking safeguards that will help protect his bright financial future.
Clowney is seeking insurance for his upcoming junior season. Richard "Big Daddy" Salgado, the president of Coastal Advisors LLC, told FOXSports.com that “a member of Clowney’s camp” inquired with his company about obtaining a policy worth as much as $5 million in case of a catastrophic injury that prematurely ends his playing career in 2013. Coastal Advisors has insured and guided 35 other top college prospects over the past 15 years in similar fashion, Salgado said.
The NCAA began providing the chance for football players to purchase insurance in 1990 and later expanded that offer to athletes in other sports. Banks are arranged for loans in case the athlete or his family can’t afford to purchase the policy on their own.
Clowney, who turns 20 on Thursday, would have been a high pick in April’s draft but was ineligible to enter because of NFL rules barring players who aren’t at least three years removed from high school. The 6-foot-6, 256-pound Clowney was dominant his sophomore season with 13 sacks and 23.5 tackles for losses.
A media debate recently ensued questioning whether Clowney should play in 2013 or sit out the season to avoid the chance of a major injury a la Gamecocks running back Marcus Lattimore while waiting to become draft-eligible. Lattimore suffered multiple torn knee ligaments last October that will cause him to drop from being a potential first-round choice to a later selection. Such a tumble will cost Lattimore six-to-seven figures in guaranteed money as part of his rookie contract.
Gamecocks head coach Steve Spurrier recently dismissed the possibility of Clowney skipping the 2013 season.
“If money was his only goal in life, then he couldn’t play,” Spurrier told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “And he might not get into a car before next year’s draft so he wouldn’t be in a car wreck and get injured. He would be just very, very careful for a year not to have any kind of injury.
“But Jadeveon likes football. Football players play football. They don’t wait around on this, that or the other. He’s really good about avoiding injuries and so forth. He knows how to get out of harm’s way if there’s a big pileup around a tackle. I think the odds of him getting hurt are not nearly as much as a running back or somebody like that.”