He became a household name last year as a result of a devastating hit against Michigan in last year’s Outback Bowl. The hit dominated highlight reels, and saw a record stay on Sports Centers ‘Top Ten’ list. That singular play probably caused a significant boost in draft stock regardless of how this season turns out for the South Carolina defensive end. However Jadeveon Clowney is so much more than a one hit wonder.
The only issue with becoming so famous for one thing, one play in Clowney’s case, is that it becomes difficult to ever do anything that is as good as the original. No matter how many bone-crunching sacks he has on quarterbacks this season, or even in his professional career, they likely won’t have the luster of the one infamous hit against Michigan.
In case you forgot the hit that made Jadeveon Clowney famous, here it is again.
As the number two rated prospect behind Johnny ‘Football’ Manziel, Jadeveon Clowney garnered a lot of attention at the Southestern Conference (SEC) media days. Facing questions ranging from his life aspirations to his season goals to the infamous hit against Michigan, Jadeveon Clowney was the focus throughout.
Asked about his feelings towards the play that made him a superstar after just one hit last season, Clowney said “I was just happy at first. I was like, ‘Hey, I did that!’ Now it’s like, man, it’s still going on? But to do something big like that and everybody to recognize it, it’s exciting.”
He added that “I expected myself to do big things at South Carolina. I told myself I didn’t want to come in number one and not leave number one. Everything that’s happened to me, it’s just the greatest feeling ever.”
If you thought that hit was big, and it certainly was, you’re probably wondering what he and his South Carolina Gamecocks have in store for this season.
Maturity is a key asset Jadeveon Clowney has in his back pocket. Comparing his behavior to the questionable actions of fellow college football superstar Johhny Manziel, Clowney said that “He makes his own decisions. I make my own decisions. I stay off the Internet. I know better. That’s up to him.’’
A drive to continually better himself is perhaps the biggest indication that Jadeveon Clowney will not allow himself to simply be a one hit wonder. He has freakish athleticism that he is always looking to improve. How many defensive ends can run a 4.46 40 yard dash? Jadeveon Clowney confirmed he accomplished the feat during his SEC media day interview. “I was with [fellow defensive end Chaz] Sutton and I said I was gonna get up in the morning and run a 4.40,” Clowney said. “We were just sitting around, at like one in the morning, and he was like ‘Man, you’re just playing. You ain’t gonna run that.’ So I said watch me. And I went and ran it.”
In terms of his technique, he has vastly altered his game during his time at South Carolina. As he puts it, he is focused on “getting better every year. Using my hands more. Get off the ball … I know I’m going to get double-teamed. That’s one thing I’ve been working on, taking on two on one block, getting my hands in the right position.’’
With freakish athleticism, consistently improving technique, and a bone jarring hit to his name, Jadeveon Clowney will be a top five pick in next year’s draft, making him far from a one hit wonder. When you look at his skill set and work ethic it wouldn’t be a surprise if he was right in saying that opposing quarterbacks are “scared” of him.
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Senior Sports Editor
The Guardian Express