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Clowney has ‘no interest at all’ in getting offensive for Heisman bid

Jadeveon Clowney, Talh Boyd AP

In the 78-year history of the Heisman Trophy, just one primarily defensive player — Charles Woodson, 1997 — has won the award, and that was primarily due to the Michigan cornerback seeing time as both a wide receiver and punt return specialist.

Over the past couple of years, though, defensive players have begun getting their share of stiff-armed attention.  Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o became just the second defensive-only player to finish second in the voting, joining Pittsburgh’s Hugh Green back in 1980.  Nebraska defensive lineman Ndamukong Suh finished fourth in the balloting in 2009, while LSU cornerback Tyrann Mathieu was a finalist in 2011.  Even then, Te’o’s Heisman profile was boosted significantly by an embellished human drama while Mathieu’s candidacy was aided by his return prowess.

Still, the Heisman has historically been a strictly offensive award.  Or, more specifically, a strictly quarterback/running back award — 70 of the 78 winners played one of those two positions, with the trophy going to the former position 11 of the past 12 years.

This year, South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney will enter the 2013 season as one of the front-runners for the most prestigious award in the sport.  In fact, Clowney may be the front-runner on some of the preseason watch lists that will be dropping over the next couple of months.

He is, though, just a defensive player.  And, if Clowney has his way about it, that won’t change, regardless of what it may do for his bid for the Heisman.

“Nah. I have no interest at all in playing offense,” Clowney said according to the Greenville News, adding an emphatic, “forget it.”

If Johnny Manziel can break through the (redshirt) freshman ceiling, can Clowney be the one to do the same on the defensive side of the ball and without the offensive novelty?  If the voting is based who is the best player in college football, and not just the best quarterback or running back in the game, Clowney certainly has the talent and athletic ability — and should have the on-field production — to do just that.

Seeing as the current stable of Heisman voters are as offensive-focused as they come, I won’t hold my breath.  Hell, when even a man as young as Clowney can see how skewed the Heisman voting is, you can understand why the award is slowly losing its luster.

“It’s strange, but that’s what the people like, touchdowns and more touchdowns,” Clowney. “They don’t worry about the sacks and stuff.”

Maybe one day such inconsequential things will matter in the minds of voters.  Again, though, I won’t be holding my breath anytime soon.

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9 Responses to “Clowney has ‘no interest at all’ in getting offensive for Heisman bid”
  1. mungman69 says: Mar 27, 2013 3:19 PM

    He is old enough to fight in a war…oh well.

  2. thraiderskin says: Mar 27, 2013 3:26 PM

    I hope he wins the Heisman, for one, why can’t a , purely, defensive guy be the best player in college football? He already has a drop the mic moment from that bowl game, add that to his probable rediculous jr. year and what else would he need?

  3. mogogo1 says: Mar 27, 2013 3:31 PM

    “It’s strange, but that’s what the people like, touchdowns and more touchdowns,” Clowney. “They don’t worry about the sacks and stuff.”

    Maybe one day such inconsequential things will matter in the minds of voters. Again, though, I won’t be holding my breath anytime soon.
    ________________

    It’s not that they don’t matter at all (Te’o was second in the voting just this year) it’s that just like at every other level offense tends to capture more attention. The last guy to win NFL MVP who played defense was Lawrence Taylor back in ’86. It’s certainly not just a Heisman thing.

  4. ruggyup says: Mar 27, 2013 5:08 PM

    What do you mean, ‘just a defensive player”? Defensive player is what, chopped liver in your lexicon? Lousy syntax. Clowney is a great football player. Screw the Heisman.

  5. hardballtalkusername says: Mar 27, 2013 5:44 PM

    Clowney may very well be the best player in college football, but quarterbacks have more of an effect on wins/losses. That is why they win the Heisman so often.

  6. joewilliesshnoz says: Mar 27, 2013 6:06 PM

    I don’t know about the Heisman, but the Steelers should tank the whole season to get him.

  7. sportsfaninyyc says: Mar 27, 2013 6:21 PM

    He’ll be a Raider!

  8. clemsonstillsucks says: Mar 28, 2013 12:48 AM

    “I don’t usually talk Heisman, but when I do, I talk about Jadeveon Clowney.”

  9. classyjacklambert says: Mar 28, 2013 3:20 PM

    This guy only thinks about one thing… punishing whoever is unfortunate enough to have the ball. He’s probably not smart enough to be an effective offensive player but he is great at what he does. I hate his team but respect his craft. If he’s the best player I’m the country he should get the heisman. But he won’t, it’ll go to an offensive player.

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