South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney spoke to the media for the first time this spring after the Gamecocks second spring practice of 2013. 

Clowney has received a lot of media attention since his high school days but the intensity has been ramped up ever since "The Hit" in the Outback Bowl. Clowney opened up about how that play and a lot of the media attention he's received lately doesn't phase him at all. 

“I don’t pay any attention (to the hype),” said Clowney. “I’ve just been working out and going to class.” 

When it came to the question of sitting out the 2013 season, Clowney admitted it never crossed his mind. “Sitting out?" Clowney said. "I never thought of it. I’m going to go to school and play.” 

While sitting out was never an option, it certainly doesn't mean he's not prepared in case of severe injury. Clowney confirmed after practice that he has taken out an insurance policy through the NCAA worth $5 million dollars. 

One would think the enormous amount of attention would catch anyone off guard, even Clowney, and the junior defensive end admitted that he's even surprised at the attention he's been receiving. However, he's ready to embrace the attention and keep playing like he has been. 

“I’m ready for it. I’m just going to deal with it and keep playing like I’ve been playing, 100 percent. I’ll just try to do better than I did last year.”  ​

Well, it looks like Clowney can do even better based on his recent testing numbers after winter conditioning for the Gamecocks. Clowney confirmed his current weight to be at 273 pounds, up from the 260 pounds he weighed during the 2012 season. He also said that he ran "something like" a 4.54 40-yard dash. He contends that he's basically ran that same speed since entering college and was happy that he was able to add 12 to 13 pounds while keeping his same speed. 

That's bad news for the rest of college football. 

Post-Practice Notes:

  • Victor Hampton appears to be the clear cut front runner to replace Ace Sanders as the Gamecocks' punt returner. He's shown the most confidence of the group and appears ready to fill that role. 
  • Wide receiver Shaq Roland returned to practice after missing Tuesday's practice due to academic issues. 
  • Kelvin Rainey finished the day with an interception. The former tight end has three interceptions in two spring practices. 
  • Damiere Byrd sat out today's practice after recovering from LASIK eye surgery. 
  • The Gamecocks will take next week off for spring break and won't return to the practice fields until March 19th.