Georgia coach: Clowney is already better than anyone in the NFL

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The insane hype around South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney is growing.

Clowney likely would have been the first pick in this year’s NFL draft if he had been eligible, and he’s widely expected to be the first pick in next year’s NFL draft after he has completed his third year of college football. But Mark Richt, who coaches against Clowney at Georgia, says Clowney doesn’t even need to get to the NFL to be the best player in the game.

“I would say Clowney is the best football player in the world though. Seriously. I think he might be the very best player who exists today, at any level,” Richt said, via the Macon Telegraph.

Clowney is an incredible athlete who’s also got a mean streak that makes him one of the most feared players that college football has ever seen. But does Richt really think he’s the best football player in the world, right now? Already a better defensive end than J.J. Watt? Already a better all-around player than Aaron Rodgers, or Tom Brady, or Peyton Manning, or Adrian Peterson or Calvin Johnson? That seems like a stretch.

But the way people talk about Clowney, it’s not a surprise to hear Richt talking about him in grandiose terms. At this rate, someone will be calling for him to be enshrined in Canton before the 2014 NFL draft.

148 responses to “Georgia coach: Clowney is already better than anyone in the NFL

  1. Better than JJ Watt, Aldon Smith, Von Miller, Demarcus Ware, and Jared Allen? LOL it explains why you’re still a college coach..

  2. Taylor Lewan begs to differ. When he was on him Clowney was a non-factor in that game. The hit on Vincent Smith was a mistake by one of the other linemen fwiw.

  3. I dont know if I agree with Richt, but I will say…….If I was a father figure to Clowney, I would tell him to not even suit up this year……..Clowney saw first hand what happened to Lattimore……..if Clowney sits out the year, what is the worst that happens? he falls to #2 or 3?…….and i still think he’d go #1…….

    As a fan of the game, I don’t know if I can take watching an injury to this kid this year……Clowney has already done his due time at SC and has given us one of the greatest defensive highlights ever…….all you are doing this year is playing for pride with the possibility of losing millions……it aint worth it…

    I hope Spurrier has the brains to sit this kid out in every blow out, but knowing him, i doubt that’ll happen

  4. He’s a great collegiate player, but he’s been overhyped so much that there’s just no way he’ll be able to fulfill all of the expectations, not even if he’s the next reggie white. I also wonder how coachable will he be after being told he’s the best in the world for so long?

  5. He may be the next great thing to hit the NFL, but he’s not playing NFL competition, at NFL speed. He’s probably quite talented, and he’ll be an asset to an NFL team, but I’m sure there are several dozen current NFL players that would embarrass him with experience alone.

  6. What was the name of that 80’s hit by Foreigner? Oh yeah, “Head Games”….

  7. dont let redskins fans hear about this, they already think IRG3 was GODs gift to the NFL

  8. If Beno Cook were alive, he’d say Clowney would win several Heismans. Remember back in the day when he said that about Ron Powles? Ha ha ha ha ha, crazy old man. While Clowney is a freak, he wasn’t blocked on that play against Michigan.

  9. That’s just like Rex Ryan saying every player he has coached is the best of his position. Nothing to see here.

  10. With the first pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, the Los Angeles Browns select…

  11. It would be very rare for a college player to be better than the top pros. The pro players are the top of the college players and the game is much faster. And this coach Richt has never been an NFL coach hasn’t seen pro players every day.

  12. Don’t forget Demarcus Ware. Freak Athlete who has the most sacks since he came into the NFL in 2005. Ware had double digit sacks playing with one arm last year(the other needed shoulder surgery and all offseason for his elbow to heal).

    This guy is indulging IMOP.

  13. NFL linemen are a whole different breed. Many a college stud has embarassed himself in the pros.

  14. That’s just a stupid thing to say. Undoubtedly an amazing college player with the potential to be an amazing NFL player, but in no way shape or form is he already better than the very best players in the NFL. Physically he can probably stack up with some of the best, but there’s so much he will need to learn on the mental side of the game and he will only get that with NFL experience.

  15. Normally I would laugh at these kind of claims…

    But this guy really is a monster.

  16. Lets see.. an all world college prospect…cant miss #1 draft pick.. greatest player ever…hmmm..What could possibly go wrong..

  17. Wow, why would he even say that? That’s such a ridiculous statement. I hope the media doesn’t overdue it with this kid. The last thing he needs is to be worshiped like he’s a hall of famer before he even gets out of college. Just let him play

  18. Mark Richt is a really vindictive jerk.

    Trying to ensure that Clowney ends up on the Browns or Raiders, and thus has no chance of ever being successful?

    Come on, man.

  19. I want this kid on my team next year, but that’s not cool putting him too high up on a pedestal.

  20. Guy sounds like such a dope. This is as stupid as when idiots say the best college team could beat the worst NFL team…….No they couldn’t and no he is not even close to being better than all pro players.

  21. What sort of ‘Suck for Luck’ phrase will be used for Jadeveon Clowney?

  22. He was NFL ready after high school so this isnt really an exaggeration. I’ve been following this kid since his SR year at high school and he’s the real deal. Not only is he a rare athlete but he’s got that dog in him that makes players great.

  23. This is what we were refer to as the “SEC Hype Machine”. It’s the same movement that had people believing that Alabama could compete with teams in the NFL.

  24. If Clowney is the best player player in the world (he’s not, for sure NCAA), then Antonio Richardson LT for Tennessee will be a top 10 pick as well. Shut Clowney out for 58 minutes @SC last year in his first year as a starter. Clowney did have the game winning strip sack in the 58 minute, but was invisible beforehand.

    And Richardson may not be the best LT in the SEC because of Jake Matthews At A&M. SEC, Baby.

  25. Mark Richt your argument is invalid.

    Having said that, I hope when this kid does make it to NFL he strives to be the best and not walk on with a reputation to carry him. We’ve seen that song and dance way to many times.

  26. The best thing about a player like Clowney is that it hedges the bet for the questionable teams like mine.

    If you’re gonna win–win. But if you’re gonna lose, it might not be the worst thing in the world to lose big.

  27. Is this the same SEC coach that said Alabama could beat an NFL team? LOL

    I’m guessing Richt is just planning a built-in excuse for when his team loses to SC.

    Surprised MDS didn’t talk about Clowney’s hit on the Michigan RB where no one decided to block him.

  28. Wow all because of one hit.

    I think he is talented, but no where near as talented as he is being hyped as, and all of the hype comes from that one hit.

    Interesting to see how good he is this season in College and next year in the NFL.

  29. Clowney could very well be great in the NFL, but it’s important to note he was handled quite well by Lewan of Michigan & Richardson of Tennessee (to name a couple). Now both Lewan & Richardson are projected as 2014 first round picks, but does anyone think those two are going to be considered among the best in the league once they’re there? Clowney’s going to be going against much tougher opponents than those guys, so let’s back off the hype a little and let the kid develop his game and hopefully he’ll ultimately produce as everyone thinks he will.

  30. Already a better all-around player than Aaron Rodgers, or Tom Brady, or Peyton Manning, or Adrian Peterson or Calvin Johnson?
    Adrian Peterson IS BEST IN THE NFL!!!

  31. Easy Mark, best player in the world? Wait till he gets to the NFL with the grown men first. No doubt he’s going to be a great player but slow down skippy.

  32. It’s just a bold statement. And let’s not forget the kid hasn’t yet played against nfl talent yet

  33. Its one player.One player in a team game. Lets see if he gets drafted by whoever goes 1-15 and turns the team around single handedly.

  34. I wish people would shut up and let him just play. I worry that all this hype and hyperbole will raise the expectations too high. It feels like if he doesn’t come out and immediately play like Reggie White in his prime he’ll be called a bust. The kid can play, just let him do his own thing and create his own legacy!

  35. I am looking so forward to seeing this guy play more than ever now after reading this article.

    Either way, however he turns out this season is going to be a huge deal no matter what.

  36. I think Clowney is going to turn out to be one of the best defensive players to get drafted in the past decade but I’d say that’s stretching it just a bit. Hopefully he finishes out his career at SC healthy and makes it to NFL at 100%.


  37. That’s a ridiculous statement. He hasn’t got to the NFL yet, make that statement when he finally gets there, and plays in games.

  38. Watch the colts tank another season so that they can get the top pick. They did it with manning and luck. Would put nothing past jimmy irsay. He father was a real piece of work.

  39. Apparently all of the Alabama beatings have finally caught up with Richt’s brain.

  40. Ludicrous to say he’s better than a future HOF QB, but he might give the top NFL d-lineman a run for their money. Dude is nasty.

  41. Why even play in the NFL? Let’s just elect him directly into the HOF and retire his number.

  42. Well lets see. Tony Mandarich was going to be the greatest lineman every to play the game, and Ryan Leaf was a sure thing, and Jamarcus Russell was a beast and bigfoot is running around the woods eluding everyone. Clowney is probably a great player, but unfortunately they just put a target on his back. Andrew Luck had similar hype and seems to be doing ok, but lets give him a few more starts before saying he’s the real deal. I would say the same goes for Clowney and everyone else. The NFL is loaded with great players.

  43. Speaking of J.J. Watt, how on earth does he get away with that finger wag move in his opponent’s face after he makes a tackle after a six yard gain? In what universe is that not taunting?

  44. Ummm… I think I can name AT LEAST 200 players in the NFL that I would rather have than Clowney… RIGHT NOW!!!!!!!!!!

  45. That is exactly the kind of hype that will ruin a kid. I hope this young man can keep from looking at his news clippings too much. Sure would hate to see such a unique talent, have his spirit broken upon getting to the league and finding it’s harder than it looks.

  46. Rodger, Brady and Manning are great and amazing QBs, but they are nowhere near the greatest all around players as you contend. Brady and Manning go out of their way to get away from a defender carrying the ball after a turnover. Don’t get me wrong, that’s the smart move, but you can’t say 3 guys who won’t tackle or block anyone are the best all around players in the league.

  47. Jesus Christ, there are Hall of Fame players playing in the NFL right now at his position. Pump the breaks already. In no universe is the NCAA on the same level as the NFL.

  48. kegrun says:
    Jul 29, 2013 10:13 PM
    Hope he drops to #33 in the draft so the Falcons can get him.
    Fixed that for you.

  49. He deserves it. The film doesn’t lie. It’s all on tape. He is the Calvin Johnson of Defensive Ends (CJ may have been best WR in all of football his last year at GTech). Or, Adrian Peterson without the health concerns. The SEC deserves the hype too because it’s also all on tape and 6 years running. Anyone who watches his highlight reel and knows football knows this kid is the TRUTH. Now, can he handle his money and be a pro? I think so based on his ability to improve his game and stay entirely out of trouble.

  50. I sure hope this kid can live up to the hype and doesn’t let the accolades get to his head. I hope he keep working hard as he can because if he tries to get by on just talent then he’ll get eaten alive by veteran linemen.

  51. Let the “Don’t win one, for Jadevon” season for losers begin.

    If he’s that good, giving away the season and signing the top pick for the rookie scale would be the way to go. Get a supposedly top guy at his position for the price of the same guy, 20th best at his position…

    Let Indy follow the suck for luck season, then have the best offensive player, and the best defensive player(SUPPOSEDLY) for 3-5 years together and still have huge money for top FA’s.

  52. Wasn’t Andre Ware, Jamarcus Russell, and Akili Smith all supposed to be without a doubt the best player coming into the NFL?

  53. Christ, the hyperbole on this guy is out of control. Do we forget that Taylor Lewan shut him down in Clwoney’s last game? Sure he had the one hit in the run game but Lewan held him pressure-less. Even Devin Gardner admitted as much, saying he had plenty of time to throw all game. Is Lewan is having his way with him, I dont imagine Clowney would have much of a chance against a Joe Thomas, Ryan Clady, or Duane Brown. He’s got all the potential in the world but Mark Richt is full of it.

  54. If Clowney is the second coming, it would funny to see him being slammed onto the turf by an NFL lineman on Clowney’s first pass rush.

  55. And no one should know better who is ready to succeed in the NFL than done college coach who is charge if amateurs..


  56. Not a Georgia fan, but this looks to be a brilliantly loud, but subtle move on Richt’s part. Continue to skyrocket the ego of a major rival’s stud athlete, with the hope of making Clowney break under the extreme pressure. Yet, even if he does go off against Georgia this year, Richt can say “I told you so”. Football season is about to start and I CAN’T WAIT!!!!

  57. better than ANYONE in the nfl? really now? stuff like this does NOT help the image.

    he had a nice big hit that everyone saw. but to declare him the best before he plays a down in the league? setting him up to fail

  58. Now you know why Reggie passed on addressing the D line this year and getting rid of Palmer.
    With the first pick of the 2014 draft … the Raiders select Jadeveon Clowney .

  59. The college game is all about talent whereas the pro game is more about skill as everyone at that level has a high level of talent. What seperates the draft busts from those with bronze busts in Canton is how dedicated they are to their craft. There have been a number of players with supreme talent but not the skill to succeed.

  60. “Already a better all-around player than Aaron Rodgers, or Tom Brady, or Peyton Manning, or Adrian Peterson or Calvin Johnson? That seems like a stretch.”

    I think he was talking about at his position. How the Hell could Clowney be the best QB or WR in the world today?


  61. icewalker946 says:
    Jul 29, 2013 9:46 PM
    What sort of ‘Suck for Luck’ phrase will be used for Jadeveon Clowney?

    Play bad, draft Clowney.

  62. Pennywise the Clowney:

    Evil lurks in his eyes,
    The Clowney they call, Pennywise
    He’ll catch you by surprise,
    The Clowney they call, Pennywise.

  63. This guy is way better than Justin Smith…

    Seriously, this coach is going to kill this kid, by overhyping him and making him believe he is better than he is and sure fire NFL superstar without doing anything yet.

  64. He’s undeniably the greatest player I’ve ever seen at the collegiate level and it isn’t even close. To call him the best in the world though at this juncture is just flat out hyperbole.

  65. I don’t understand your obsession with JJ Watt. He’s very good but no way would I consider him more valuable than the top quarterbacks or guys like Peterson.

  66. bennyb82 says: Jul 29, 2013 9:13 PM

    He is a great player…but what a ridiculous comment by Richt.


    It makes me wonder if this is an attempt by Richt to mock Clowney with a little bit of sarcasm…

  67. Outside the ” HIT ” he was handled quite well by Lewan of Michigan………..and the kid from Tenn.

    Clowney is good . But ????

  68. peytonsneck18 says: Jul 29, 2013 9:26 PM

    dont let redskins fans hear about this, they already think IRG3 was GODs gift to the NFL.

    Ahahah your the Hater everyone talks about on every post…

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