A day after his coach seemed to call into question his commitment to playing football, South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney said that he was “fully committed” to the Gamecocks and that he had not played his last collegiate game.
Clowney missed South Carolina’s last game against Kentucky, citing a rib injury. This caused Steve Spurrier to unleash a torrent of snark in his direction during the post-game press conference.
“I will just say he told me he couldn’t play. That his ribs hurt, couldn’t run. Said ‘I can’t play.’ I said, that’s fine, you don’t have to play. We’ll move on. He may not be able to play next week, I don’t know. We’re not going to worry about it, I can assure you that if he 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 play, simple as that. We were thinking he was going to suit up and play. He did not practice Thursday. Couldn’t run. Said he couldn’t play. Any time a player says he’s hurt, can’t play, who are we to question? He doesn’t play.”
Clowney is listed as questionable for this coming Saturday’s game at Arkansas.
The controversy can’t be helping Clowney’s draft status, especially with his production so low and seemingly tied to the perception that he’s not going all-out when he plays. In four games, Clowney has 12 tackles, three tackles for loss and two sacks, a far cry from what was expected of him. And, no, it’s not because he is being double-and-triple teamed on every play.
What we have here is yet another case of a guy being overhyped and then that hype being overtaken by events.