Like the powerful hit that went viral in the last college football wagering season, Jadeveon Clowney made his next important move with incredible speed. Only minutes after South Carolina won the Capitol One Bowl, with a 34-24 victory over Wisconsin, Clowney announced his intention to enter the next NFL draft.
When reporters asked Clowney if he was really going to drop out of school and join the National Football League, the junior defensive end answered each question with a “Yes, sir!”
As any serious football wagering fan knows, Clowney is considered to be one of the nation’s top prospects by many NFL scouts. ESPN called him “one of those rare game-changers on defense.” One AFC scout told a YouWager news source, “He’s a modern day Randy Moss. J.C. doesn’t have the same type of criminal background as Randy did when he was his age, but the dependence on natural talent and problematic effort concerns are very similar. Difference is, Clowney won’t fall out of the top-seven like Randy did.”
As a sophomore, Clowney, at 6-6, 274 pounds, earned a school record with 13.5 sacks and 23.5 tackles for a loss, rated All-American honors, and got to the top 6 on the list for the Heisman Trophy. But some scouts and online oddsmakers have concerns about the young man’s maturity. Recently in his home state of South Carolina, Clowney was ticketed for driving 110 mph, and during the 2013 college football wagering season, it often appeared that Clowney was saving all that speed for his next career move.
The AFC scout summed it his concerns this way for YouWager’s source: “In high school, he was the best player on the field. Same in the SEC. But he needs to realize that won’t be the case in the league. If he wants to have a career longer than a few seasons, the kid needs to wake up, add some glass to his diet and understand that it’ll take a lot more work during the week.”
Clowney first achieved stardom at South Pointe High School in Rock Hill, SC, a town many NFL scouts have dubbed ‘Football City, USA’ for the surprising number of NFL players it has produced in recent years. The top college coaches from all over the country came to meet the young man. Even Alabama’s Nick Saban. Although Clowney wanted to play for one of the SEC’s top teams, he was not impressed with the National Championship-winning coach.
At the time, Clowney told a YouWager source, “I don’t see no big deal like everybody else. They’d say, ‘He’s the king of all of football.’ The guy ain’t nothing but 5-5. He’s a short guy. Everybody’s going crazy on Nick Saban. He talked the whole time he was there. I was dozing off. He can talk. A lot. He talked for a whole straight hour.”
South Carolina’s ‘old ball coach,’ Steve Spurrier, was more successful. He told Clowney, “Stay in-state. We’ve got to keep our players in-state.” The day Clowney turned 18, he revealed his commitment to the South Carolina Gamecocks on a live broadcast. Later, he reveled in his SEC choice, saying, “It’s wild in college. Girls be all on you. They love football players up there. I was smiling and laughing about everything.”
Now, Clowney says he is ready for the 2014 draft, and a career in the NFL. The real question, for the sports betting public, as one NFL wagering analyst at YouWager put it, “Is the NFL ready for Clowney?”