The Capital One Bowl indeed was the last time we’ll see Jadeveon Clowney play at the collegiate level.
Following South Carolina’s 34-24 win over Wisconsin Wednesday in Orlando, the junior defensive end was asked if he was turning pro.
“Yes, sir,” was the response.
It was about as foregone a conclusion as possible that Clowney would leave Columbia after his junior year. Despite finishing with only three sacks in 2013, Clowney proved all he could in 2012. Racking up 13 sacks will do that (Clowney also had eight his freshman year).
He was the subject of some passive-aggressive barbs from coach Steve Spurrier (which, really, is par for the course from the head ball coach) earlier in the year when he backed out of playing an early October game. The Spurrier quote:
“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.”
Spurrier later admitted everyone involved handled the situation poorly, and there didn’t appear to be any lingering animosity between the player and coach.
Clowney is almost universally rated as the best defensive player in the 2014 NFL Draft pool, and jockeys between the No. 1 and No. 2 overall player with Louisville quarterback Teddy Bridgewater (who declared for the draft earlier today).