The roller coaster ride wrapped in a circus that was the recruitment of Jadeveon Clowney finally ended today. Despite the ridiculous amount of media coverage that mounted over the last few months, and last two weeks in particular, the importance of his decision to the University of South Carolina football program cannot be overstated.
Oh, sure, we all at one time or another talked about how football is a team game and Clowney is but one player, trying to convince ourselves we’d be fine if he went to Alabama or Clemson. But as Gamecock fans we all knew that we would not only be missing out on perhaps a once-in-a-generation player, but a huge chunk of good will gained from the 2010 football season would’ve been lost.
Given all the factors that were in our favor, seeing Clowney put on an orange or crimson hat this morning would’ve been nothing short of devastating. We needed his commitment worse than Clemson or Alabama. Much worse.
So instead of imagining that dread scenario any further, I bring you good news – Jadeveon Clowney is a Gamecock. He is the consensus number one recruit in the country. He has been called the best high school player to come along in years. Some say he is the best ever at his age. He has been compared to Jevon Kearse and Mario Williams, which ain’t bad. His highlight films are freakish. And best of all, we’ll get the pleasure of seeing him suit up in the garnet and black in the fall.
Here are a few other not-so-random thoughts from a busy day:
Curb Your Enthusiasm – Freshman defensive ends rarely burst onto the college football scene. Clowney may very well be the exception, and I hope he is, but he needs to add weight, needs time in the weight room, and needs to work on his technique. Don’t expect him to be the defensive equivalent of Marcus Lattimore out of the gate.
Shane Beamer – The Rubber Chickens bloggers have differing opinions on this. Spurrier said after the FSU game that Beamer does a good job and he just needs better players. I tend to believe SOS here, because he doesn’t have a track record of defending bad coaches. At the same time, we have seen our share of terrifying special teams moments with Shane-O at the helm. Best of luck to him, seems like a good guy.
Chris Rumph – If this story is accurate, it says a lot about the type of person Rumph is. Look, I like making fun of CTU as much as the next guy, but what a bum. To sell kids hard on Clemson one day, and then a few days later tell them “they can’t win at Clemson” is about as low rent as you can get. (Not terribly excited about JC’s comments about Saban here either, FWIW.)
ESPN – my love-hate relationship with the Worldwide Leader tilted heavily to the negative today. If you’re going to orchestrate the biggest day of an 18-year-old’s life, then for goodness sake orchestrate it around your commercial breaks.
Next up, spring practice, and BASEBALL!