Something is up with Jadeveon Clowney.
The guy’s a stud, the best defensive end in the country and the possible No. 1 overall pick in next year’s NFL draft.
Heading into the season he bragged that opposing players were scared of him and set a goal of 20 sacks and had the Heisman Trophy practically handed to him.
Now, Clowney doesn’t seem to want to play. It looks like he’s saving himself for the NFL.
He sat out of South Carolina’s win over Kentucky on Saturday, telling the coaches before kickoff that his ribs were hurting. This latest malady came after he’s already complained of a bad shoulder and a tummy ailment this year. Bone spurs in his right foot are certainly causing him pain.
At times, Clowney has looked looked like the terror he was in his first two seasons. But he’s also played like he’s going through the motions and seemed frustrated that opponents have game-planned for him by either double- or triple-teaming him, or running to the opposite side.
His year of the sack has turned into a season of sulk. Clowney has 12 tackles and two sacks in four games.
Coach Steve Spurrier seems confused by Clowney’s antics.
In August, he talked about having a “communication problem” with Clowney and other players when they weren’t at a practice.
And on Saturday, Spurrier said none of the coaches knew he wouldn’t be able to play until just before kickoff, although it was reported that Clowney didn’t practice last Thursday.
Here’s what Spurrier said to the media on Tuesday:
”It’s not a one-man game. It’s a team sport. Jadeveon is playing hard, he’s playing well, I think he’s played very hard. Got two guys blocking him about all the time.”
Here’s what Spurrier said after Saturday’s game:
“If (Clowney) wants to play, we’ll welcome him to come play for the team if he wants to. If he doesn’t want to play, he doesn’t have to.”
Here’s what Spurrier said Sunday:
‘Hopefully, with treatment and so forth, he will be well enough to play this coming week, but we will see. It’s not a big story. He was in pain, couldn’t play. We will see if he’s going to be in pain and not play or not in pain and can play this week.”
And on Clowney’s commitment:
“You’ll have to ask him about that. I can’t speak for Jadeveon.”
His effort has been speaking for itself.
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