Gamecock FB: Jadeveon Clowney talks and you should listen
There he was.
Tuesday evening after practice, Jadeveon Clowney was in his usual environment with a ton of cameras in his face.
This time, though, his commitment level was being questioned.
So what does he do?
Flash a million dollar smile.
Clowney answered his critics and then some on Tuesday evening after the Gamecocks practiced without him and let everyone know his stance on his future with this South Carolina football team.
"I know my situation with the team," Clowney said Tuesday night. "Our goals are still out there for us. I dedicate myself to this team and this university. I'm just going to do what I have to do to get better and come back out there and play."
Sounds like this situation got a little overblown, don't you think?
It's amazing what the media will run with when a story is created without knowing all the facts. Over the weekend, Coach Spurrier's comments were construed to lead you to believe that there was an issue. Spurrier made it seem that way with his comments on making the media ask Clowney about his commitment level and so forth so the national media began to blast Clowney as a player and his work ethic.
Funny, I guess they haven't watched him play football at all the last two years. Clowney's been on the field doing what he can to help South Carolina win 11 games each of the last two seasons.
Sure, Spurrier's choice of wording wasn't the greatest at that time and he mentioned on Tuesday during his press conference that everyone handled the situation poorly. Even Clowney mentioned it Tuesday night that he handled the situation poorly.
We can all see there is something everyone can agree upon. No one handled this the proper way and let's hope there is a lesson learned from all of this.
Jadeveon Clowney is such a rare breed of athlete that doesn't come around every year. He's a special talent and people have been talking about him for years like he's 40 years old and been playing forever. Let's not forget, he's a junior in college. He's in the limelight every day and has been built up to be this mega college football star but his demeanor and attitude make him seem like any other fun, loving college student.
That's what sets Clowney apart from others. This attention, everything that has come his way, it's not going to phase him now and it won't phase him going forward. He knows he's under constant scrutiny and he keeps a low profile off the field. He's just an easy going young man who enjoys playing football.
So, because of that, someone somewhere had to find a story out of nothing with Jadeveon Clowney, which is what happened the past two days. People forget Clowney has been playing with a foot injury since high school and has decided to hold off on surgery and play through pain nearly every game of his college career.
This doesn't sound like a selfish guy to me, but what do I know?
Seeing his commitment questioned was definitely something that shouldn't have sat well with anyone. Being called out by one of the talking heads on ESPN is uncalled for. Understanding the pain he's been in on a weekly basis with his foot injury and the constant physical demands that he receives during a football team can take a toll on a person. He got a little banged up two weeks ago against UCF. It was reaggravated on Wednesday of last week and it was enough to shutter the star defensive end for the weekend.
We all know Clowney is headed to the NFL after this season. It's also understandable if he wants to protect himself from further injury. However, these aren't issues that could ruin his draft stock. In order to get better, he needs the time off which is why he sat out during the Kentucky game. He's still in a questionable status against Arkansas and Clowney knows that once he's healthy and ready to go, he'll be on the field. He said so on Tuesday.
"It depends on how I'm feeling. It's bothering me. I can't really run right now. When I start back running, I will be out there."
You can bet that the instant he can run pain-free, you'll see No. 7 bearing down on some quarterback and causing offenses to switch their game-plan around just because he's on the field.
Whether that comes this weekend against Arkansas, next weekend against Tennessee or someone else later in the year, you haven't seen the last of Jadeveon Clowney.
"I haven't played my last game yet," Clowney said. "I will be back on the field. I just don't know how long it will take to get back but I'm going to be back playing. I'm going to keep doing my thing, keep playing football and moving forward."
So, we've heard from Jadeveon Clowney and he said he's not done at South Carolina.
Let's listen to the man and enjoy the few games we have left with one of the biggest stars in South Carolina history.
I promise you'll like what you see.