Spurrier unsure if Clowney will play vs. Arkansas

Published on NewsOK Modified: October 6, 2013 at 3:06 pm •  Published: October 6, 2013
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Jadeveon Clowney has people talking again — and for a reason no one expected when his final season kicked off six weeks ago.

The South Carolina All-American pulled himself from the lineup Saturday night a short time before the Gamecocks' 35-28 victory Saturday night, saying pain from strained muscles around his ribs was too much to bear.

It's the latest in a season of illness, injuries and ineffectiveness for the 6-foot-6, 274 pound Clowney, who figured to dominate the game like few others in college football. Instead, Clowney has spent more time explaining why he hasn't popped off more helmets as he did in his ESPY-winning hit of Michigan's Vincent Smith at the Outback Bowl last New Year's that was practically shown on a non-stop highlight reel this past offseason.

South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier was unsure if Clowney would be ready to go against Arkansas (3-3, 0-2 Southeastern Conference) next Saturday.

Spurrier said his frustration came more from the way he learned his star defender would be out rather than him missing the game.

"Usually, the doctor or the trainer comes and tells you a guy will be out," he said. "That did not happen last night."

"On the other side," Spurrier continued, "if a player's in pain, I don't want him to play, none of us do."

When asked about Clowney's commitment to the Gamecocks, Spurrier replied, "You'll have to ask him that."

Spurrier's kept Clowney on a short leash with the media since early August, letting him speak only after games. Spurrier said that would change this week to give Clowney a chance to explain his injury.

Clowney was the country's top prospect coming out of South Pointe High in Rock Hill two years ago. He waited until his 18th birthday, Valentine's Day — and nearly two weeks after national signing day — to choose South Carolina over Alabama and Clemson on ESPN.

Clowney was the SEC's freshman of the year that fall and, with 13 sacks and a school record 23 ½ tackles for loss a year later, won the league's defensive player of the year.

He capped it with two stellar showings, collecting 4 ½ sacks against Clemson quarterback Tajh Boyd in South Carolina's 27-17 rivalry win and his helmet-flying hit on Smith.



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