Clowney mailing it in? Twitter convinced he’s overrated

NCAA Football: South Carolina at Georgia

South Carolina squeaked out a 35-28 victory over Kentucky, and the Gamecocks can’t seem to finish on defense…without their best player.

Related: SEC’s week 6 biggest takeaways

Jadeveon Clowney took himself out of the lineup before the game due to a rib injury, which also kept him out of practice Thursday. Steve Spurrier admitted that if Clowney wants to play, he’s more than welcomed to, via GoGamecocks.

“I don’t want to get into all of that,” South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier said. “I will just say he told me he couldn’t play. That his ribs hurt, couldn’t run. Said ‘I can’t play.’ I said, ‘That’s fine, you don’t have to play.’ We’ll move on. He may not be able to play next week, I don’t know. We’re not going to worry about it, I can assure you that if he wants to play, we’ll welcome him to come play for the team if he wants to.

If he doesn’t want to play, he doesn’t have to play, simple as that. We were thinking he was going to suit up and play. He did not practice Thursday. Couldn’t run. Said he couldn’t play. Any time a player says he’s hurt, can’t play, who are we to question? He doesn’t play.”

Spurrier’s comments reveal he doesn’t really seem convinced that Clowney is actually hurt.

Defensive coordinator Lorenzo Ward said he had ‘no idea’ Clowney wouldn’t be able to play.

“Coach Spurrier talked to (Clowney), and he told him he had trouble running because of his ribs, so we found out right before the game he couldn’t play,” Ward said. “I was totally surprised. We went through walk-through earlier today, and he said he was hurting, but I thought he was going to play. I don’t think it had any effect. I think all the guys, when they found out he wasn’t going to play, somebody else has to step it up. We’d love to have JD out there, but we got to put 11 guys on the field, regardless of whether he plays or not.”

Clowney’s ribs are just the latest in a long line of injuries since the start of the season. Here’s a game-by-game look:

  • UNC: Stomach bug that caused dehydration
  • Georgia: Sore foot limiting mobility
  • Vanderbilt: Sore foot but played through it
  • UCF: Stomach bug
  • Kentucky: Did not play, sore ribs

Related: Carolina-Kentucky highlights

Clowney has made 12 tackles and two sacks in four games, and he’s been the biggest disappointment – player-wise – through the first half of the season.

If only ‘The Hit’ in the Outback Bowl hadn’t happened…

Fans, however, say Clowney is overrated:

Photo Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports



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  • It’s one thing to be injured; it’s another thing to quit on your team. That’s what’s happening here. Before the season all the talk surrounded whether Clowney should play or not, and he said he’s going to play. But he’s not playing. Put a dress on ’em he’s DONE.

  • I have to admit, I am disappointed in Clowney. I thought he was a BEAST. I was so excited about watching him play this year, and every week, there is some excuse as is evidenced above. Usually the great players play through pain. I figured he would push the limits so that he could win the Heisman and improve his draft stock as well as all the other awards that might come his way. I really don’t understand it. I know he has the talent; I am just not sure why he is not using it?????

  • I get the feeling we will get the real story only after JD has left the NCAA.

  • Clowney is working hard to have the most disappointing final season in college football history. It’s disgraceful.

  • I remember reading how he didn’t even want to play this year fearing risk of injury. The NFL doesn’t want hurt prospects but what they hate even more are lazy players. Years ago Les Miles wrote a scathing list of LSU players who didn’t put out. Spurrier needs to do the same.

  • Not only is he pretty overrated (not sure how you can disagree anymore) but this kid has shown all season he has absolutely no heart on the field.

    • I think he’s running out of excuses, so now he’s decided to simply not show up at all. If there was a way to get Shaw’s heart in Clowney, we’d be all set. I wish “the hit” would have never happened and maybe he would have maintained some sort of a level head and not drifted into the clouds. Tough to watch one of our greatest talents, possibly ever dwindle away into an average DE.

  • What makes it even worse is the fact that in the UCF post game he had the audacity to make the comment that other people on the defense haven’t been showing up. It’s clear now why Vic Hampton said, “My foot hurts too,” in response to Clowney being asked how his foot was feeling in that same post game conference.

  • What I’m beginning to wonder here (and Jon feel free to elaborate if I’m on to something) is that the other 10 guys on Defense were looking to him as the “leader” on defense this year and they were matching their playing to his level of effort. Look at the first 3 quarters of play against UK, the entire defense looked stout, not the defense of the last two years but way better looking in the first 4 games by far. It’s like the D played better when the distraction was off the field…If only they could maintain that effort for all four quarters. Sadly becoming more and more disappointed in Clowney as each week passes…

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