SEC’s top 25 players of 2013: No. 1 Carolina’s Jadeveon Clowney

SDS is continually counting down the top 25 players in the SEC for 2013, and we’re not stopping until we get to No. 1. I know you’ll agree with every single one…

No. 1 Jadeveon Clowney, DE, South Carolina (DE)

2012 stats: 54 tackles, 23.5 TFL, 13 sacks

Why he’s No. 1: We’ve finally reached the top. Let the debate begin.

Did you think anyone other than Jadeveon Clowney would be No. 1? He’s so dominant and destructive and poised to have a huge junior campaign.

He’s a freak in every sense of the word, and one pure athletic talent I like to compare him to is Lebron James. They’re similar in size, with Clowney at 6-6, 275 and James at 6-8, 250. Clowney going against some linemen is like Lebron going against kids at the playground. Sometimes, it’s embarrassingly not fair.

Clowney’s racked up 35.5 tackles for loss and 21 sacks in two seasons, while living up to his enormous prep hype. Just 15 sacks separate Clowney and former Georgia great David Pollack in the SEC record book. If he notches 16 this year, he moves into a tie for third all time in the SEC with former Ole Miss Rebel Ben Williams.

Clowney led the Gamecocks to rack up 43 sacks in 2012, the most in the SEC and 6th in the country.

Great adjectives usually run out when talking about Clowney. I like the word dominant, but I love explosive even more. He sent vibrations around college football by destroying the whole state of Michigan with just one hit.

Mark Richt said he’s the best football player at any level; I say he’s the best raw talent of my generation, but his game has such a higher ceiling than what it already is.

My checklist for 2013 includes watching every snap when Clowney is on the field. Don’t get used to it or tired of it.

He’s the top overall talent in college football for 2013.

The Countdown:

1.  Biggest freak in college football
2.  Johnny what’s his name?
3.  Best running back in college football
4.  The biggest winner in the rankings
5.  College football’s No. 2 overall running back
6.  A record-setting QB
7.  The Tide’s defensive glue
8.  The best offensive tackle in college football?
9.  Alabama’s O-line anchor
10. Texas A&M’s versatile left tackle
11. The biggest deep threat in the country?
12. Florida’s dancing defender
13. One LB who should explode in 2013
14. Jarvis Jones who?
15. The SEC East’s top receiver
16. Florida’s Honey Badger
17. A receiver who doesn’t drop passes…ever
18. LSU’s freak
19. A Rebel who knows he’s good
20. Funny name; not a funny game
21. Arkansas’ O-line anchor
22. A receiving freak
23. An underrated Tennessee head smasher
24. LSU’s defensive quarterback
25. An unheralded Hog

Photo Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports