Out of high school, Jadeveon Clowney was the No. 1 overall recruit in the nation, one who actually did live up to the hype. He chose to attend South Carolina, despite offers from essentially every major program including Nick Saban and the University of Alabama.
“I don’t see no big deal like everybody else. They’d say, ‘He’s the king of all of football.’ The guy ain’t nothing but 5-5. He’s a short guy. Everybody’s going crazy on Nick Saban.”
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Clowney also wasn’t particularly impressed by his recruiting pitch either:
“He talked the whole time he was there. I was dozing off. He can talk. A lot. He talked for a whole straight hour.”
Ouch. That certainly isn’t a criticism you hear about Saban every day. It just goes to show how difficult recruiting these young men can be. Obviously Saban is good at it, as he’s brought in some of the best classes in school history. But at the end of the day, you’re still dealing with the fickle nature of a 17-year-old high school kid.
Rest easy, Tide fans; there is some good news. Clowney didn’t forgo playing in Tuscaloosa merely because Saban is short. He says he would have gone to Alabama, but they ran a 3-4 defense at the time, and the defensive end wanted to be in a 4-3 system.