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Jadeveon Clowney shows off his rare talent

South Carolina v Arkansas Getty Images

The backlash against South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney was predictable: He entered this season hyped as a sure-thing No. 1 overall pick in the 2014 NFL draft, and so the first time he looked like anything less than a prime Lawrence Taylor, there was going to be grumbling that maybe Clowney wasn’t as good as everyone said.

But in one half of football today against Tennessee, Clowney pretty well silenced any talk that he’s anything other than the most talented defensive player to come out of college football in years. Although his South Carolina teammates have not played particularly well against the Volunteers, Clowney has been a one-man wrecking machine.

On Tennessee’s second play from scrimmage, the Volunteers ran a shovel pass to receiver Alton Howard. But as soon as Howard got the ball, Clowney had already sidestepped a block and entered Tennessee’s backfield, where he instantly wrapped Howard up for a loss of five yards.

Later in the first quarter, Clowney blew past Tennessee left tackle Antonio Richardson (who’s viewed by some as a likely first-round pick himself) and destroyed Tennessee running back Rajion Neal behind the line of scrimmage. Clowney’s hit on Neal was reminiscent of Clowney’s famous hit against Michigan running back Vincent Smith, although unlike Smith, Neal managed to keep both his helmet and the football.

Another tackle for loss came when Tennessee tried to run around the left side and had a tackle and guard double team Clowney. Two blockers weren’t enough, as Clowney simply took both of them with him toward the sideline before shedding the block and bringing down the ball carrier.

In the most bizarre play of the game, Clowney wrapped Neal up in the backfield the moment Neal got the handoff from quarterback Justin Worley, and Neal panicked and tossed the ball back toward Worley immediately. I’ve never seen anything quite like that happen before, but I’ve never seen any defensive lineman wreak havoc on an opposing offense the way Clowney has, either.

There may be legitimate questions about whether Clowney takes too many plays off. And the truth is, it was always premature to label Clowney as a sure-thing first overall pick because there are no sure things this far out from the next draft. But anyone who’s wondering why Clowney is viewed as a once-in-a-generation talent just needs to see his first half against Tennessee.

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25 Responses to “Jadeveon Clowney shows off his rare talent”
  1. captainvilfo says: Oct 19, 2013 2:36 PM

    Yeah that tackle on the RB he missed was awesome

  2. dallascowboysdishingthereal says: Oct 19, 2013 2:41 PM

    I can’t imagine that anyone questions his ability to play football in the NFL. His talent, size, quickness are all undeniable. The question is his character and commitment to playing hard on every play and every game.

    It’s that concern that could make his draft stock fall.

    I see a “contract year” kind of player.

  3. h3min1230 says: Oct 19, 2013 2:41 PM

    from what i saw he gets lazy when the play isn’t run towards him, he kind of just jogs around.

  4. kd75 says: Oct 19, 2013 2:42 PM

    With the second pick in the 2014 NFL draft, the New York Giants select Jadeveon Clowney, defensive end, University of South Carolina.

  5. EJ says: Oct 19, 2013 2:43 PM

    Welcome to Buffalo Clowney. You will be lining up opposite of Mario Williams with Kyle Williams and Marcell Dareus in between. That would be one hell of a Defensive line!

  6. steelergrammarnazi says: Oct 19, 2013 2:45 PM

    The Jags and Giants love drafting DEs in the first.

  7. jzone954 says: Oct 19, 2013 2:52 PM

    Kid will be a great NFL player

  8. corkspop says: Oct 19, 2013 2:59 PM

    First pick overall. Hope he likes Jacksonville.

  9. 1billsnation says: Oct 19, 2013 3:02 PM

    The boy is a MONSTER……….. when he is all in. Hopefully he doesn’t pull a Haynesworth in the NFL, play until you get that BIG contract and then kick your feet up.

  10. serkeljerks says: Oct 19, 2013 3:03 PM

    EJ says:
    Oct 19, 2013 2:43 PM
    Welcome to Buffalo Clowney. You will be lining up opposite of Mario Williams with Kyle Williams and Marcell Dareus in between. That would be one hell of a Defensive line!

    ———————————-

    I think you mean “….on paper”.

    Because that’s all the Bills defense has been is a heck of a defense….on paper. They’re 27th in overall defense. Adding Clowney wouldn’t suddenly change that front into a top-3 defense anymore than adding that fat guy from Alabama next to Suh did anything.

  11. serkeljerks says: Oct 19, 2013 3:06 PM

    kd75 says:
    Oct 19, 2013 2:42 PM
    With the second pick in the 2014 NFL draft, the New York Giants select Jadeveon Clowney, defensive end, University of South Carolina.

    ——————————————————

    NY team needs:

    Linebackers
    Running Backs
    Defensive Linemen
    Offensive Linemen

    and….Secondary.

    and possibly Quarterback but this need is overshadowed by the other profoundly obvious team needs.

    Clowney won’t be a Giant. His #2 overall spot will be traded for more desperately needed picks.

  12. champs794 says: Oct 19, 2013 3:17 PM

    Jared Allen is playing his last season in Minnesota…

  13. cobaltdriver says: Oct 19, 2013 3:47 PM

    Jared Allen is playing his last season in Minnesota…

    yeah….and?

  14. dolphins4 says: Oct 19, 2013 4:01 PM

    Jacksonville needs a QB alot worse than an over rated defensive end.

  15. cadillacjosh says: Oct 19, 2013 4:03 PM

    I think any team with the chance to draft Clowney, will draft Clowney. You can’t pass up that kind of talent. And if the Giants keep tumbling, having JPP and Clowney as book ends will be ridiculous.

  16. arwiv says: Oct 19, 2013 4:08 PM

    If Clowney is on the board when the giants pick, he’ll be a Giant. If the Giants pick at #2 Clowney will be there unless the Jags trade out of the #1 spot and set their sites on one of the QB’s other than Bridgewater.

  17. nickynick04 says: Oct 19, 2013 4:09 PM

    South Carolina lost the game

  18. jagsandliquor says: Oct 19, 2013 4:16 PM

    Yay people are talking about the jags

  19. mackcarrington says: Oct 19, 2013 4:45 PM

    He was legitimately injured, it turns out. Now I think we’re seeing the real Clowney.
    And for the Bills to get a shot at Clowney, they would have to completely shut it down right now. The Bucs and the Jags would most likely go for a QB. The Giants would take him.

  20. vaphinfan says: Oct 19, 2013 6:00 PM

    Not sure how many of you clowns watched the game but he made some plays but the other plays he was doing nothing but standing there.

  21. geofferystevens says: Oct 19, 2013 6:02 PM

    Jags need a lot. Should trade that 1 overall for multiple 1st round picks and a 2nd rounder.

  22. dwskater says: Oct 19, 2013 6:18 PM

    Idk if I’m willing to invest a 1st rounder in a guy who shows up once every 6 weeks

  23. vincelombardisghost says: Oct 19, 2013 8:31 PM

    There’s a lot of players who are special talents in college, but it’s far too early to say he will be an impact NFL player.

  24. m1a1mg says: Oct 20, 2013 10:26 AM

    Isn’t there a College Football Talk?

  25. hines86for6 says: Oct 20, 2013 11:34 AM

    and he was invisible in the 4th quarter…

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