South Carolina‘s Jadeveon Clowney‘s 2012 season is without a doubt one of the best performances by a defensive player in college football history. The problem here is, that was 2012. What did he do in 2013 is the real question here. The answer to that question is: NOTHING!
He did absolutely nothing worth noting. He proved himself to be a clown on and off the field. He got in trouble. He showed serious character flaws. He may have just hurt his chances of being the No. 1 overall pick in the draft. After announcing his intentions to enter the draft, it’s time to analyze just what he brings to the table.
Last season at this time Clowney made quite arguably the greatest hit in college football. If nothing else, the most famous play in recent memory. No single play got more media coverage and hype than that fumble-jarring hit Clowney put on that poor, poor Michigan player. Helmets flying, jaws dropping and Clowney grabbing the fumble like it was nothing. That play is what made people proclaim Clowney the prize for any NFL team lucky enough to get him.
Unfortunately for Clowney, he wasn’t able to go to the NFL last season. He had one more season in college and like so many other players, had nothing to gain and everything to lose. The only thing he could have done this year was hurt his draft stock. It couldn’t get any higher. The only direction it could go, was down. And down, down, down it went.
Almost immediately Clowney was in the news with any injury. College experts were calling for him to sit out the entire 2013 season and prepare for the draft. So is he injury prone? We don’t know. Once the season finally did start and Clowney was out there playing, you’d think his troubles were over. Not even close. They had just begun.
At times this year, it seemed like Clowney could care less about football and didn’t want anything to do with playing. He consistently lacked effort and flat out gave up on plays. He was nowhere near the motivated, hungry beast he was the season prior. After being in the running for the Heisman in 2012, Clowney couldn’t even sack a Heisman hopeful this season.
He lacked IT. He lacked the desire to play and continue to get better. That is a character flaw. Thinking you’re better than everyone and you don’t need to try is not what NFL scouts want to see. Having your lowest number of total tackles and sacks in your last season isn’t improvement. It’s regression. Players are supposed to get better, not worse. Effort is the key here.
If only that was the end of it. But Mr. Clowney proved himself a potential diva and problem for an NFL team when he had his off-the-field issues. He was pulled over for speeding. And speeding he was! In fact, it was the fastest he had moved all season. If only he was moving that fast on the field he might have had more than three sacks all season. Clowney was caught driving 110 MPH and luckily was not arrested. Usually players wait until they’re in the pros to do stupid things like this. But Clowney’s attitude is apparent that he just doesn’t care. Well Jadeveon, you’re no role model and it’s fair to say there are many NFL teams who don’t care to draft you this season.
He appears to be too big of a risk to give millions of dollars. Think of how lazy and unmotivated he could be with mountains of cash. Not to mention, how much more trouble he could get into with the power of fame and the raised level of recklessness many athletes embrace. So ask yourself, do you want your favorite team drafting a player like this? Is he worth the gamble? If so, go ahead. But Jadeveon puts the Clown in Clowney.
Dave Galleher is a writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @theDaveGalleher.