Few future No. 1 NFL Draft picks received more criticism than Jadeveon Clowney did during his final college football season. The South Carolina defensive end had a modest junior campaign–three sacks and 11.5 tackles for loss–but he played in only 11 of the Gamecock’s 13 games, causing some to believe he was playing it safe with the NFL in mind.
Clowney has said that wasn’t the case; he truly was injured. Steve Spurrier has backed up his player on multiple occasions, too.
South Carolina’s football coach said Tuesday morning at SEC Media Days that many people were advising Clowney to sit out the 2013 season entirely.
Spurrier: “Jadeveon didn’t even have to play last year. A lot of people advised him to sit out. He wanted to play.”
— Barrett Sallee (@BarrettSallee) July 15, 2014
Steve Spurrier says that Clowney played hard. Played 3 years and won 33 games in that time. #SECMD14 says that nobody has to change there O
— JT Thomas (@JtthomasESPN) July 15, 2014
Spurrier and South Carolina now have to move on from Clowney, a player whose talent and production will surely be missed. They’ve got to replace quarterback Connor Shaw, too. Will this be the year the Gamecocks break through and win the SEC?