Jadeveon Clowney: Heisman Longshot?
University of South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney is the best college football player in America. Period. Paragraph. End of story …
“Remember it, write it down, take a picture,” as Smokey from the movie Friday said.
No player is capable of taking over a game quite like this 6-foot-6, 274-pound freak of nature … and if you don’t believe us, ask his fellow 2013 Heisman Trophy hopeful Tajh Boyd – who was on the receiving end of Clowney’s 4.5-sack performance in last year’s 27-17 USC win over Clemson.
Clowney, 20, set school records for sacks (13) and tackles for losses (23.5) last year en route to becoming a unanimous first-team All-American. And if those numbers weren’t sufficiently impressive, Clowney put an exclamation point on his season with this unforgettable hit against Michigan running back Vincent Smith in the 2013 Outback Bowl.
No wonder the 2014 NFL draft is already being dubbed the “Clowney derby,” and why many believe he would have been the first pick in this year’s draft had he been eligible.
Yet while Clowney will make every Heisman Trophy watch list heading into the upcoming season, does he have a legitimate shot at winning the award?
According to the Las Vegas odds makers, “no …”
The best odds Clowney (who finished sixth in the 2012 voting) is currently getting have him at 12-1 … well behind 2012 winner (and 2013 favorite) Johnny Manziel and a host of other hopefuls including Ohio State quarterback Braxton Miller, Southern Cal wide receiver Marqise Lee and Louisville quarterback Teddy Bridgewater.
In fact Clowney ranks fourth in his own conference when it comes to Heisman hopefuls – falling behind Alabama quarterback A.J. McCarron, Alabama running back T.J. Yeldon and Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray.
What a joke …
In 1997, Peyton Manning was robbed of the Heisman Trophy because the sports-industrial complex decided it was time to give the award to a primarily defensive player – Michigan’s Charles Woodson. Now that there’s a defensive player who actually deserves it, Clowney is getting no preseason respect.
Let’s hope that puts a chip on his shoulder … particularly when the Gamecocks travel to Athens, Georgia on September 7 to play Murray and the Georgia Bulldogs.