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Surprise: College coach says Clowney should play in college


There are many people who think South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney is taking a huge risk by playing his junior season, since he’s ineligible to enter the NFL draft.

As you might imagine, South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier, whose mortgage payment rides on the backs of unpaid interns such as Clowney, disagrees.

Clowney himself scoffed at the notion, tweeting “I’m playing lol,” but Spurrier told Michael Carvell of the Atlanta Journal Constitution he thought the suggestion was off-base.

“Well, I hope he plays this year, and I certainly believe he should play,” Spurrier said. “Now if money was his only goal in life, then he couldn’t play. 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 as not nearly as much as a running back or somebody like that.

“I think he wants to play. I certainly hope and believe he does. I think he should play for South Carolina this season.”

Spurrier said the reaction in the media was understandable, given that it’s the offseason (what are we supposed to talk about, basketball?). But he also disputed the idea that Clowney’s financial security (which he’d enjoy by being a top-five pick, if not higher) was the most important element.

“Most of the guys that say he should sit out, they don’t realize the benefits of being on a college football team, and continuing with your teammates to have as big of a year as you possibly can,” Spurrier said. “The money is going to be there down the road, so why would a person give up the thrill of playing college football?

“Those people have never played football, so they say he should sit out and get the money. That’s the only side of sports they see — the money. There’s a lot more to it than just the money.”

All that’s easy for Spurrier to say, because he keeps getting paid even when Marcus Lattimore’s knee gets turned into spaghetti.

And while there are good and noble intentions for wanting a young man to stay in school, the financial reality is that Clowney is gambling millions on the proposition that his luck is good enough to avoid injury.

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20 Responses to “Surprise: College coach says Clowney should play in college”
  1. vtopa says: Feb 12, 2013 4:35 PM

    Steve Spurrier. Who are you again? Why should we care what you say you blowhard?

  2. t8ertot says: Feb 12, 2013 4:45 PM

    It’s too bad he’s not going pro yet. The kid is a man among boys. I’d be glad to have him on my team. I imagine he could be the top pick in the draft

  3. thegreatgabbert says: Feb 12, 2013 4:49 PM

    The kids should be able to turn pro when they’re ready. Some running backs leave their best games in college and wash out of the league before they’re 25. It should depend on the athlete and position more than some antiquated rule.

  4. kpf1981 says: Feb 12, 2013 5:02 PM

    “All that’s easy for Spurrier to say, because he keeps getting paid even when Marcus Lattimore’s knee gets turned into spaghetti.”

    Are you kidding me? You act like Lattimore is the first player in college football to have a significant knee injury. Furthermore you make it sound like Spurrier dove at his knee himself. No coach wants their players to get hurt and every coach wants their players to recovery fully from an injury. What is your point PFT? Spurrier was answering these ludicrous questions that other people asked. Of course he wants this guy to play. So do his teammates. Are you implying that every college football player that will get drafted should not play the year before in an effort to reduce injury? Who writes this stuff? You’re an idiot. That’s the stupidest thing I’ve every heard.

  5. jerseyshoregiant says: Feb 12, 2013 5:03 PM

    vtopa says: Feb 12, 2013 4:35 PM

    Steve Spurrier. Who are you again? Why should we care what you say you blowhard?

    How about Heisman trophy winner and National Championship coach.

  6. whynotusecommonsense says: Feb 12, 2013 5:04 PM

    Surprisingly, Mike Golic had a great answer when asked why Clowney would/should want to play.

    “Because football players play football.”

    He’s right, these guys are wired to play football. That’s what they want to do. It’s only the media who have never played that are saying this kid should sit out.

  7. fahlso says: Feb 12, 2013 5:09 PM

    Mike Williams, Maurice Clarett. Those are 2 reasons why Clowney should continue to play and continue to play at a high level.

  8. wayne1693 says: Feb 12, 2013 5:13 PM

    Do you realize how ridiculous it is to be integrating Spurrier’s job into this equation…?

  9. robmar924 says: Feb 12, 2013 5:15 PM

    How is this a story?! Who actually believe Clowney should sit this season? Risk of injury exists around every corner for every top player in college that is not draft eligible and its always been that way. Media makes players look like clowns for holding out for a contract but this would be pretty much the same thing so its beyond me why Florio and the other PFT cronies think this is some hugggge risk Clowney is taking. Football players should play football, not playing because of fear shows your not ready for NFL football anyways

  10. Deb says: Feb 12, 2013 5:15 PM

    Did you write a similar article when Peyton Manning elected to stay at Tennessee for his final year of eligibility rather than going to the pros?

    I could understand this if he were eligible to move up to the NFL but had chosen to remain at South Carolina. Yes, that would be a difficult call because he’d be risking his future earnings for no reason. But Clowney doesn’t have any other choice. He can stay at South Carolina … or he can sit at home, let his skills atrophy, let the scouts forget about him, watch his draft stock tumble. Since when is that the advice we give college players?

    Hey … Johnny Manziel just became the first freshman to win a Heisman and he won’t be eligible to make the jump for a couple of years. Maybe he should just sit out until then–you know, to preserve himself–and hope no one forgets his great first year.

  11. mikebrownfaux says: Feb 12, 2013 5:15 PM

    Could someone please tell Carlos Dunlap, that defensive ends are supposedly playing a “low risk” position, when it comes to injury. Maybe then he could put together an entire NFL season.

  12. atwatercrushesokoye says: Feb 12, 2013 5:15 PM

    If he skips the season wouldn’t that be a massive red flag for teams that he’s just in it for the money? Play the season demonstrate that you deserve to be the number 1 pick in 2014 and the rest will take care of itself.

  13. kev86 says: Feb 12, 2013 5:15 PM

    Jets will win their last game to go 4-12 and miss out on Clowney.

  14. akhhorus says: Feb 12, 2013 5:24 PM

    Bill Polian says that he would drop in the first round if he sat out. But he’s just a super bowl winning GM.

  15. csszrr says: Feb 12, 2013 5:58 PM

    @Deb. Johnny Manziel is eligible to make the jump next season. He is a red shirt frosh, which means at the 2014 draft, he will be 3 years out of high school.

  16. deedub1639 says: Feb 12, 2013 6:18 PM

    The guy has no choice. If he doesn’t play his stock will fall. If he really wants to be selected in the top 5 he has to play.

  17. finsrule2222 says: Feb 12, 2013 7:10 PM

    I don’t believe that kids should be able to go from high school to the NFL, but if there were ever a player that had the physical ability to to it, it’s Jadeveon Clowney. Watching his high school highlights was hilarious. Just not fair.

  18. akhhorus says: Feb 12, 2013 7:29 PM

    He had the physical ability but in his freshman year at South Carolina, you could fool him with any number of fakes/traps pretty easily. It took him the offseason to learn how to spot those better, but he still falls for those from time to time.

  19. raiderapologist says: Feb 12, 2013 8:20 PM

    The OBC wants Clowney to play another year. Florio and his underlings want us to watch NBC programming. Everybody has an angle.

  20. Deb says: Feb 12, 2013 8:23 PM

    @csszrr …

    Thanks … I thought he was a true freshman. Good news for the rest of the SEC West since our guys have to face him! Of course, maybe he should just sit out this year and protect himself 😉

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