Jadeveon Clowney: Beast or bust?

Since last year’s bowl game against Michigan, South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney has had more spotlight than any other defensive player in college football.

Clowney’s signature play that has been replayed millions of times was when he absolutely crushed Michigan running back Vincent Smith on a rush in last year’s Outback Bowl. The ball carrier was tackled immediately as he took the handoff, and fumbled the ball after he looked to have been run over by a train.

Since the huge hit he had in the last game of last season, Clowney has been scrutinized by both fans and the media. Some were saying he would just completely sit out of this season to avoid the risk of getting injured for the draft. While others have said that he is overrated or he has a lazy work ethic.

Now, people are saying he isn’t as good as advertised because he hasn’t had incredible stats to begin the season for the gamecocks.

According to Espn.com, Clowney only has 7 tackles through the first three games with 2.0 sacks. These stats are not terrible for a defensive end that is not playing at 100% health, but compared to the 13.0 sacks and 54 tackles he racked up last season, they’re not as impressive.

With bone spurs in his foot, Clowney has decided to wait until the offseason to get surgery and play through the pain. Of course playing on a bum foot is not going to produce unbelievable stats.

Clowney told the Greenville News, “It’s painful; I’m out here playing on it, though, so I’m just trying to give everything I’ve got on it. Who knows what’s going to happen out there? It doesn’t really bother me when I am out there much. It just builds up pain. The more I keep going on it, the more it bothers me.”

People are expecting too much out of the guy because he is physically a freak of nature and absolutely tore up every team he played last season. Clowney is listed at 6-6, 274 pounds. For a man with that stature, his 4.46 40 time is incredible. Most wide receivers in college football don’t even run that fast.

Ever since his huge hit that is still all over Sportscenter to this this day, everyone in America expects Clowney to make plays like that every time he’s on the field. People overlook the fact that Clowney takes at least two players out of the play every down, because every team has to double team him. Even while being double teamed, he still is able to consistently put pressure on the opposing quarterback.

“I think Clowney’s a freaking beast, not one person can guard him one on one,” said Elder senior Seth Mason. “I would love to see the Bengals draft him, but he will already be off the board.”

NCAA Football: Vanderbilt at South CarolinaClowney has plenty of time to improve his stats this season. Either way, you will see him playing in the NFL on Sundays, causing offensive lines a fit every week. He is projected as a top 5 pick in this year’s draft if he decides to forgo his senior season at South Carolina. The guy is simply unblockable.