If you don’t know by now, University of South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney is the best pro prospect in the country. And guess what? He’s only a sophomore.
His earth-shattering hit on a Michigan running back during the Outback Bowl literally sent shockwaves through the sports world as every NFL has had him on their radar since then.
In fact it is because of that very hit that he is an early favorite to win the Heisman Trophy which has many thinking, why can’t he play in the NFL already?
If Clowney was eligible for the NFL Draft, there is very little doubt that he would be the #1 overall draft pick in April. However you have to be three years removed from high school in order to enter the NFL Draft so Clowney has one more year to go.
At 6’6, 256 pounds Javedon is not built like most second-year college players. In fact it is safe to say that he is already built for the league and should transition very well.
This man has a future has a bright future with millions of dollars waiting so why would he want to risk this by playing another year of pointless college ball?
Tom Sorensen of the Charlotte Observer argues that Clowney should be an exception to the NFL’s rule.
I understand the league’s argument. The damage the NFL does to brains and bodies is horrendous. Doctors know more about concussions than they ever have and commissioner Roger Goodell has assessed penalties for blows to the head, or with the head, more than any commissioner has.
If grown men can’t remember their middle names 10 years after they leave the league, what do you think will happen to those 160-pound, teenaged tailbacks who thrive in college? The NFL plays hardball. As dominant as Alabama was last season, the Crimson Tide would lose by double figures to the NFL’s worst team.
But Clowney is 6-foot-6 and 256 pounds. If you believe in free enterprise, on what grounds do you tell a player physically ready to compete that, for his own good, he won’t be allowed to?
Let’s be honest, this is not going to happen and he will have to play out one more year in South Carolina. But after that there is no doubt that he is out. There is no way he’s going to stay for his senior season as his draft value will be at an all-time high.
Let’s hope that he performs next season and keeps his up his high level of play. There would be nothing worse than seeing this beast hurt himself and lose it all.
Duncan Steel | Elite.