“Everybody thinks about me. They know. I’m coming around the edge and that’s trouble when I’m coming around the edge. I’m not letting up, putting pressure on them.”
“When I come to the line of scrimmage, they’re all staring at me before the snap. They’re fumbling the ball and just sliding and thinking that I’m there.”
“A quarterback can’t take but so much throughout a whole game, getting hit over and over and over. They just start throwing the ball all over the place and sliding on the ground and throwing interceptions.”
“You’ve probably got to put, like, three people on me or something. Two people ain’t going to work.”
“I explode off my hips and make guys that are stronger than me feel weaker than me. They ain’t seen nothing like it.”
“I don’t let nobody intimidate me. You don’t come play football to be intimidated.”
“I fear not being good.”
Those are all comments made by Jadeveon Clowney in the ESPN interview segment that aired prior to the start of the college football season. Literally two weeks ago.
Fast forward to Saturday.
“I told the coaches, ‘You got to put me somewhere else. In the middle if you want to. Somewhere I can make some plays help my team get in position to win.’ But (Georgia) took me right out of the game.”
“It’s hard out there trying to chase from the backside, and they just took me right out of the game. They want to move me around, that’s up to them. I’m going to keep playing my assignments, I set the edge most of the night, the ball went away from me on the backside chasing. That’s just how the game went.”
Those are statements made by Clowney after Saturday’s loss to Georgia, according to this story written by USA Today’s Dan Wolken. Wolken—hardly a Clemson shill, as I have been dubbed by Gamecock nation—opines that the South Carolina ship is quickly sinking. The program is in disarray, says Wolken, and the signs are evident.
Clowney is complaining about his role. Assistant coaches are fighting on the sidelines. Steve Spurrier is ripping his defensive coordinator. All after a road loss to a preseason top five team in the second week of the season.
Folks, this is pitiful. Georgia isn’t an FCS team, and Sanford Stadium isn’t Wallace Wade. Winning this particular game was a really, really hard assignment. I actually thought the Gamecocks played well.
But now Columbia is in meltdown mode, and a lot of it has to do with Clowney. Yes, I am putting the blame squarely on his shoulders.
He has one sack through two games. He had one sack through two games last season. What does that signify? No improvement, and in fact, he may have regressed.
The difference is that Clowney talked about this season before it happened. He didn’t do that last year.
He talked about how double- and triple-teaming him wasn’t enough. He talked about how scared the best quarterbacks in the nation were of him. He spoke freely about creating chaos in opposing backfields and established himself as “The Freak”—ESPN’s words, not mine.
Speaking of the four-letter network, it is certainly complicit in this charade. The expectations for Clowney were outrageous before the season started. Even at his best, he wouldn’t have been able to live up to it. But he helped create this monster with his own words.
The quotes above didn’t come from Tom Rinaldi or some other voiceover talent from ESPN. They came from Jadeveon Clowney.
The statements about how scared Tajh Boyd and Aaron Murray are didn’t come from Chris Fowler on the Gameday set. They came from Jadeveon Clowney.
And the gripes about how he’s now being used didn’t come from Mark May during a halftime show. They came from Jadeveon Clowney.
I have heard from several sources inside both in-state power programs some scathing criticisms of Clowney. These are not my words, but they are the words of well-connected people who know things.
Since January, Clowney has not worked hard on his conditioning. That’s why I don’t buy the stomach virus excuse for his lack of conditioning. His lackluster effort had been building for months.
He has left a bad taste in the mouths of coaches—both in high school and in college—because he refuses to lead. He is a me-first player, not concerned in the least with the well-being of his teammates. In fact, I have been told there are some within the South Carolina program who can’t wait for him to leave for the NFL.
Now, this self-described monster is moaning and whining about having to run down ball carriers. Apparently he thought opposing teams would just run right into his arms. He’s offended that a quarterback would step away from his grasp, forcing him to exert more than the minimal amount of energy on a given play.
He wants coaches to move him around, as if offenses won’t just simply go the other way. Apparently he thinks opposing quarterbacks are incapable of thinking for themselves, making observations, or calling audibles.
ESPN certainly aided and abetted the process, but Jadeveon Clowney is culpable in his own demise. In a matter of two weeks, this supposed Heisman candidate has been exposed as a 270-pound out-of-shape, loafing crybaby who thinks the world should kowtow to his every whim.
Meanwhile, in Clemson, Tajh Boyd is Tajh Boyd. That’s a major difference.