Da Don’s Verdict: The Real Deal with South Carolina DE Jadeveon Clowney is Hidden in Business

Photo Credit to (Gerry Melendez/The State/MCT)

Jadeveon Clowney was a heralded prospect coming out of high school and many thought he would be a phenomenal college football player at South Carolina. He entered the year as the consensus #1 pick for the upcoming 2014 NFL Draft, but since then questions about his commitment to the game of football, taking it easy and of course even whispers of an NCAA scandal.

Now no one knows for sure about the NCAA possibly investigating Clowney so let’s eliminate that from this argument completely. What I will argue is why would Jadeveon Clowney want to take it easy this year, why would it be in his mind? Look back to the last two years with All-American RB Marcus Lattimore tearing an ACL, in the last two years. Lattimore was also a #1 recruit, like Clowney the year before and is now in the NFL but because of injury he may never reach his peak.

If you say that’s not a scary thought, you either haven’t played in the past, nor have no sympathy for athletes. Injuries slow down a young player’s progress, and for some like Joe Theisman, Curt Warner and Ki-Jana Carter. Or for those who did come back, you wonder what could’ve been like Willis McGahee, Dante Culpepper etc.

Injuries are a part of the game that’s not debatable, but what is in fact is that Clowney may in fact be injured, some play thru it but for him he felt that his health is important. We are also in an era of football where you can’t breathe on Tom Brady or Peyton Manning without giving up 15 yards, or hitting a WR over the middle without being fined? Yet a college kid sits out vs. Kentucky and everyone flips out? There’s a reason ESPN is making a big deal and it’s simple.

We all know about the giant hit vs. Michigan in the Capital One Bowl last season, and if you don’t then you’ve been living under a rock, maybe Clowney is jumping the gun and making the NCAA a joke by conserving himself. After all South Carolina raised ticket prices, they sell jerseys in which he doesn’t get a penny off of, and lastly look at the exposure the school gets for enrollment and recruiting because of Clowney’s talent.

The NCAA is about as corrupt as anything you can think of to begin with but that’s a completely different story. I know if someone on my team were to sit out while being healthy I’d be irritated beyond belief, but the bottom-line is “business” and that’s what Clowney is doing, he’s playing the game we call “business”

The more logical and calming reason for Clowney’s unimpressive stats may have to do with personal and scheme. I’ve noticed a trend of what teams are doing to contain Clowney. With Devin Taylor moving on to the NFL, Clowney can now be double-teamed without having a strong opposite bookend on the other side of the line. Taylor may not have been an All-American player but he was a help to the impact Clowney.

As of now Clowney’s criticized by those people who are falling into the same media backlash that Johnny Manziel received unfairly by people like Jemele Hill, Skip Bayless, Kirk Herbstreit and others from the four letter network and other anti-SEC people. What would I say to them about Clowney? Simply put LET HIM BE!

Clowney’s a junior, who’s been a #1 recruit, an All-SEC/All-American player, and soon whether the four letter network wants to admit or not come March and April, Todd McShay and fancy haired Mel Kiper Jr. will look every single NFL fan in the eyes and say Clowney’s expected to be pick between the 2nd pick and the 5th pick.

He’s accomplished a lot more than a lot of people have at 20 years old, heck he’s younger than me, but if you’re looking to criticize someone don’t go after him, go after the ESPN writers/broadcasters for voicing what they believe are fair opinions and what they believe are fair for a guy who’s in college and is also a walking target for anyone out there.

If South Carolina Head Coach Steve Spurrier believes in his star defensive end then there shouldn’t any further questioning. But Clowney, the NCAA, and ESPN are all in it for the business. Just don’t think that one side is better than the other. Clowney wants his millions in the draft; ESPN wants to sway the viewer’s opinion in a certain way to boost ratings of games which have dropped a bit in my eyes, and the NCAA has more institutional problems than the federal government does. Clowney will have a breakout game soon and then the media will be backing over hyping him as if he were RGIII’s ACL.

Follow me on twitter @DaDonsVerdict and @FullScaleSport

I always want feedback and for this particular topic I’ll be more than happy to question and answer any who want to listen.

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