South Carolina Gamecocks head coach Steve Spurrier is well-known for his ability to give funny, informative quotes during press conference, and he’s been full of them today. Spurrier called Nick Saban the best recruiter and poked fun at his own lack of success in the NFL as a head coach, but his most important remark was about his former star Jadeveon Clowney, who was the first overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft.
According to the Bleacher Report’s Barrett Sallee, Spurrier stated that Clowney was advised to sit out the 2013 college football season, “Jadeveon didn’t even have to play last year. A lot of people advised him to sit out. He wanted to play.”
It’s interesting that we didn’t hear this from Spurrier in the pre-draft process, but I’m sure this isn’t big news to teams, especially the Houston Texans. It was clear that Clowney, who is a rare talent at the defensive end position, was the best prospect in the class, and concerns over his work ethic were unfounded. He drew the ire of fans for missing time last season, as some believed he gave up on South Carolina and only had his eyes set on the NFL.
This is, in general, a solid endorsement for Clowney, though he doesn’t need it at all now that he’s poised for stardom on the Texans front seven with the likes of J.J. Watt, Brian Cushing, and fellow rookie Louis Nix. Clowney also slogged through injuries last season, most namely a sports hernia that wasn’t spoken about nearly enough. All of the Clowney talk can safely be put to rest now that he’s in the NFL, but it’s still good to hear that Spurrier is setting the record straight when it comes to his former star pass rusher.