Mark Richt: ‘Clowney is the best player in the world’. Can he live up to the hype?

The hype surrounding South Carolina All-American Jadeveon Clowney is amplifying.

During a UGA Day fan event, Mark Richt said Clowney is the ‘very best player who exists today, at any level’. That includes college…and the NFL.

Related: South Carolina vs. Georgia: Revenge Game

Richt was attempting to explain the difference in game planning for a guy like Clowney vs. Johnny Manziel. He told the crowd that it’s tougher to game plan for Manziel, because you never know what he’s going to do.

But he added this about Clowney via Macon Telegraph:

“I would say Clowney is the best football player in the world though. Seriously. I think he might be the very best player who exists today, at any level.”

Can we stop building such insane hype around Clowney? At this rate, he’s never going to live up to the expectations for 2013, no matter how many sacks he racks up.

Related: Clowney would be tossed in ’13 for ‘The Hit’

Clowney would have been the first pick in the NFL Draft this past spring had he been eligible, and I think he’s probably the most raw physically gifted athletic talent of my generation in college, and certainly of the decade.

But Richt delivers an insane notion that Clowney is the best in the NFL, too. He doesn’t really believe that. Could Clowney certainly become that one day? There’s not a doubt in my mind he’s that gifted. But he’s not there yet. Not even close.

Which statement is crazier: Steve Spurrier’s statement about Alabama or Richt’s about Clowney?

Photo Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports