For those looking for clues to Jadeveon Clowney’s lack of production this year, look no further than what he told the New York Times on Sunday.
“My practice habits have picked up way more than they did last year,” he said. “Last year, I really didn’t practice real hard. This year, I came in with a different mind-set, like I want to be that guy, I want to have no flaws in my game.”
Though he might be trying harder this year — or so he says — it’s not resulting in more production for South Carolina’s pterodactyl-like defense end. Seven games into the season, he has 24 tackles, 6.5 tackles for loss and two sacks. Granted, he has missed a full game due to injury and has been generally banged up, but he’s also showed a serious lack of effort at times. His comment about his practice methods last season gives us a window into his overall mind set.
In a way, the stuff going on with Clowney can be blamed almost exclusively on the ‘curse’ of his extraordinary physical ability. Because he’s such a major talent, it makes no sense to have him playing normal assignment football in the Gamecock defensive scheme. If you had a 6-foot-6, 275 pound player who could run like the wind and change direction on a dime, would you waste that ability by making him play contain on a sweep to his side so another player could make the tackle? Probably not. Because he’s so insanely talented, you’d do exactly what Gamecocks defensive coordinator Lorenzo Ward does — you’d line him up all over the place and tell him to go chase the ball. The upside to that is that Clowney gets to run wild in space and this often results in spectacular plays. This style caters to his strengths. The downside is that Clowney’s football instincts have become dulled as a result. Because he freelances so much, he is often out of position and teams are finding it easy to scheme away from him. Since he’s not making as many plays, he gets frustrated and dogs it much of the time.
Clowney’s not going to be able to do that in the NFL, which is a much more serious business. While he’s a phenomenal talent, the gap between his physical ability and that of his opponents will be narrower at the next level. He’s going to have to learn to play within a defensive scheme and use his talent wisely, which will mean practicing hard and becoming a student of the game.
If he does that, there’s no reason he can’t become one of the all-time great ends.
One of the most powerful men in collegiate athletics is nearing the end of his reign.
During his time at the podium during Big Ten Media Days Tuesday, commissioner Jim Delany hinted very strongly that he would not be around when the conference’s new media rights deal expires in 2022. In fact, the 68-year-old commish sounded fairly positive that he’ll be somewhere other than the league’s headquarters in Rosemont, Ill., when that deal comes up for negotiations.
“I have a lot of energy and a lot of interest in what’s going on in the college space today,” Delany said. “I will be around for a bit. Whether I’m around here for six years is probably a little bit beyond how I see it.”
A short time later, Nicole Auerbach of USA Today, citing a person with direct knowledge of the situation, reported that Delany will step down in 2020. Jut when in 2020 Delany would ceded control after more than three decades on the job isn’t clear.
Delany took over as commissioner of the conference in 1989. Arguably his greatest accomplishment in that role was helping the league to develop the Big Ten Network, an in-house ATM that has helped the conference stay in step with the SEC financially.
During his tenure, he also helped shepherd the Big ten through the maze of expansion, first with Penn State in the early nineties and then with Nebraska in 2011 and Maryland and Rutgers three years later.
The up-and-down playing career of Raheim Huskey, at least in Huntington, has officially come to an end.
Marshall announced in a press release that Huskey has been dismissed from the Thundering Herd by head coach Doc Holliday. The only reason given was “a violation of team rules and policies.
The dismissal is the latest misstep/setback for the middle linebacker.
Projected as the starter heading into summer camp last year, Huskey was leapfrogged on the depth chart by Devontre’a Tyler. Then, in October, Huskey was indefinitely suspended for unspecified violations of team rules. He was reinstated and returned to the team in time to participate in spring practice earlier this year.
After taking a redshirt as a true freshman in 2013, Huskey played in 20 games the past two seasons. He played in seven last season prior to his suspension.
In the 2014 Conference USA championship game, Huskey, starting place of the injured Jermaine Holmes, was credited with eight tackles and 2.5 sacks in the win over Louisiana Tech.
As if Ole Miss didn’t have enough off-field issues with which to deal, now this situation pops up.
According to online jail records first obtained by HottyToddy.com, Charles Wiley was arrested Monday evening and charged with misdemeanor domestic violence. A female was arrested on the same charge as well.
No details of what led to the arrests have been divulged. The defensive lineman posted bond and was released from the Lafayette County Jail late this morning. According to the Jackson Clarion-Ledger, Wiley is scheduled to appear in court next month.
In a statement sent to the media, head coach Hugh Freeze indicated that Wiley “is being withheld from all team activities” as the program gathers more information.
“We are aware of the situation and recognize the proper authorities responsible for the matter,” the statement began. “Charles is being withheld from all team activities while the process moves forward. We take incidents like this very seriously and will make decisions once the course of actions is complete.”
A four-star member of Ole Miss’ 2016 recruiting class, Wiley was rated as the No. 20 weakside defensive end in the country. He was an early enrollee who participated in spring practice earlier this year, and had been expected to be a part of the line rotation this season.
And then there were two.
A week ago, Ryan Newsome took to Twitter to announce his decision to transfer from Texas. A couple of days later, the wide receiver revealed that he already has a Top Six list: Alabama, Arizona State, Michigan State, Tennessee, Texas A&M and USC.
Over the weekend, Newsome revealed he had whittled that list down to the Spartans and Sun Devils.
In an interview with the Lansing State Journal late last week, Newsome stated that MSU was “the first school to reach out to me” after his transfer decision was announced. Newsome is expected to visit both campuses before making a final decision.
Regardless of where he lands, Newsome will be forced to sit out the 2016 season to satisfy NCAA transfer rules. He’d then have three years of eligibility remaining beginning in 2017.
Newsome was a four-star member of the Longhorns’ 2015 recruiting class, rated as the No. 27 receiver in the country and the No. 32 player at any position in the talent-rich state of Texas. As a true freshman last season, Newsome caught four passes for 23 yards.