Jadeveon Clowney is an absolute stud and will be a surefire first-round pick in the 2014 NFL Draft. He leads a South Carolina defense that ranked 13th nationally in points allowed and 12th in yards allowed last season. To say he’s dominant at 6’6″ and a little over 250 pounds is an incredible understatement because he’s one of the surest bets heading into next year’s pro draft. However, that doesn’t mean he can’t improve and new Gamecocks defensive line coach Deke Adams plans on treating Clowney like a player, not a prince.
Clowney is the big man on campus at South Carolina and everyone knows that. He’s a superstar on an SEC team that gave the college football powerhouses all they could handle in 2012, so it’s easy to think he would get special treatment from his coaches, and especially a new position coach. Fortunately for him, though, that’s not the case.
Adams says he has no “plans” for how he’ll “handle” last year’s Heisman Trophy semi-finalist because he’s just another player and that’s exactly what Clowney needs in what will undoubtedly be his last season at the college ranks. He knows he’ll be making truckloads of money this time next year, so he needs someone like Adams who will treat him like everybody else.
Adams says he hasn’t even thought about his relationship with Clowney because he expects it to be the same as the ones he has with all his other players. If he thought or acted any differently, Clowney’s progression as a player might suffer. Sure, he’s a superstar, but he’s also part of a team and the success of the individual as well as the group depends heavily on his attitude. That means Adams will be the key going forward, but we’ll have to wait and see how this plays out.