South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney wants to be drafted first overall, for the obvious reasons.
But Texans safety D.J. Swearinger, his college teammate, said their frequent conversations turn to what it would be like pairing him with Texans defensive end J.J. Watt.
“He’s talking about, ‘Man, what’s the word?’ I’m like, ‘I don’t know. I’m going to try my best to do what I can to get you here,’ ” Swearinger said, via Brian Smith of the Houston Chronicle. “Just having them two down on the D-line, it’d be unstoppable. I’d just be yelling out, ‘Interception. Interception.’ That’s it. . . .
“It’s just another J.J. Watt, but two-tenths [of a second] faster. . . . He has a heart for the game, he loves the game and you can’t pass that up, if you ask me.”
That heart has been a bit of a question, as some have wondered whether the naturally gifted Clowney has the kind of day-in, day-out drive you want from a top pick. But Swearinger doesn’t think that’s a problem.
Texans strength and conditioning coach Craig Fitzgerald worked at South Carolina (before a stint with new Texans coach Bill O’Brien at Penn State), and Swearinger said he thought Fitzgerald knew how to reach Clowney.
“That’s somebody who kept (Clowney) straight,” Swearinger said. “That’s why I think it’d be a huge asset getting Clowney, because Fitzgerald always stayed on Clowney about everything and had him working 100 percent all the time. The work-ethic thing, I don’t think it’d be a problem.”
Of course, the work ethic questions may be a manufactured problem, the kind of thing that gets nitpicked during the pre-draft process of someone so talented.
But the fact there’s a familiar support system there with a track record for pushing Clowney can only help.