Thus far in 2013, Jadeveon Clowney has yet to have the type of impact that most thought he would have, an expected impact that had him at the center of the preseason Heisman talk.
Perhaps, though, there’s a very good medical explanation for that.
Following South Carolina’s win over Vanderbilt Saturday, the All-American defensive end acknowledged that a foot issue that hampered him last season is bothering him again this year. Clowney has dealt with bone spurs since his high school days, and the player said that he will continue playing through the pain.
“It’s painful,” Clowney said according to the Spartanburg Herald Journal. “I’m out here playing on it though. I’m just trying to give it everything I’ve got. …
“It only bothers me when I’m out there. It just builds up pain. The more I keep going the more it bothers me.”
Following the season, however, Clowney, who will likely leave eligibility on the table to enter the 2014 NFL draft, said he will undergo a medical procedure to get his right foot “cleaned out.”
Through three games, Clowney is tied for ninth on the Gamecocks in tackles (10); leads in sacks (two); and is third in tackles for loss (three). The junior’s not in the Top 60 nationally in either of the latter two impact categories.
In the midst of reports that he had a physical altercation with one of his Tennessee players during summer camp this year, Butch Jones labeled the speculation “absolutely ridiculous.”
Apparently, his bosses agree with the head coach.
At a board meeting Thursday, UT-Knoxville chancellor Jimmy Cheek stated that he and athletic director Dave Hart had done their “due diligence” in investigating the accusations that Jones and senior offensive lineman Mack Crowder were involved in some type of physical skirmish during practice this past August. The end result of interviews with Jones, coaches and players was the conclusion that there was nothing to the reports and message-board rumors.
“There’s been a lot of rumor and misinformation on social media and message boards about an alleged incident during football practice,” Cheek said according to GoVols247.com‘s Wes Rucker. “It’s not our practice to respond to rumors, but I thought it was important to let you know that we’ve done our due diligence and Dave Hart and I are very confident there was no inappropriate conduct with any players or coaches.”
Shortly after Cheek spoke at the board meeting, Crowder took to Twitter with a series of missives that speaks around the issue.
Michigan played without its leading rusher in Week 5. The Wolverines are hoping there won’t be a repeat in Week 6.
De'Veon Smith sustained a lower-leg injury in the Week 4 win over BYU and didn’t travel with the team for last Saturday’s win over Maryland. Smith has been practicing with his teammates throughout the first few days of this week, and head coach Jim Harbaugh is guardedly optimistic that the running back will be available for what’s turned into a huge Big Ten matchup with Northwestern Saturday in the Big House.
“He’s practicing and I’m keeping my fingers crossed that he’s going to stay good and be ready to play,” Harbaugh said during a radio appearance Thursday morning. “But we’ll (keep) looking at that every day.”
Despite essentially missing a game and a half, Smith currently leads the Wolverines with 331 rushing yards and four rushing touchdowns. He’s added four receptions for 35 yards and a touchdown coming out of the backfield the first four games.
Should Smith be unable to go again, the Wolverines have three other backs with at least 100 yards on the ground: Ty Isaac (187, 7.2 yards per carry), Drake Johnson (125, 4.2 ypc) and Derrick Green (100, 3.3 ypc).
In addition to Smith, Harbaugh is hopeful Channing Stribling will be available this weekend as well. The starting cornerback didn’t play against the Cougars because of injury