I noted on New Year’s Day that South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney looks like he’s ready to be the first overall pick in the NFL draft, except that he’s only two years out of high school and therefore ineligible for the draft. According to Clowney’s coach, Clowney was actually ready for the draft two years ago.
South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier said on the Dan Patrick Show that Clowney was good enough coming out of high school that he could have gone immediately to the NFL without ever having to play college football at all.
“He could’ve come out of high school, probably, and gone straight to the NFL and played,” Spurrier said. “He’s just one of those rare guys who has tremendous strength and quickness and explosiveness. And he likes playing. He’s a good guy, he’s really a good teammate also.”
So does that make the NFL draft eligibility rules unfair to Clowney, who has to spend three years risking injury as an amateur before he can make a living as a professional? Spurrier doesn’t sound like he’s too concerned about that question.
“He’s looking forward to next year,” Spurrier said. “He knew it was a three-year deal. But he’s ready. Oh, yeah, he’s ready for the NFL.”
For those who think Spurrier was engaging in hyperbole when he says Clowney could have gone straight from high school to the NFL, check out the video below. Clowney’s high school highlights look about like what you’d expect from an NFL player playing in high school: