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Article now up on ESPN Insiders ranks Clowney as the #1 undergraduate in CFB
1. Jadeveon Clowney, South Carolina Gamecocks
Sophomore defensive end
You simply cannot coach Clowney's combination of size, first-step quickness and natural athleticism. Studying coach-copy tape of Clowney and comparing him to other top defensive linemen gave us a true appreciation for his first-step quickness and hand quickness. There are times when it seems like he gets home in five steps with those long strides.
His production ranked among the nation's best in 2012 (in 11 games, he had 21.5 tackles for loss and 13 sacks), but even those gaudy stats can't fully capture what we saw of him on tape in the Georgia game. He was a one-man wrecking crew against the Bulldogs. He played with a foot injury versus Tennessee and Arkansas, which limited him somewhat, and he sat out versus Wofford. He returned with his explosive first step intact in the season finale against Clemson, and he tore that offense apart with 4.5 sacks.
He has some areas in which he needs to improve. His lower-body strength, to anchor, needs to get better, and his leverage is inconsistent (LSU handled him at times when they isolated him and ran in his direction). He also still relies too heavily on his swim moves. He has long, explosively quick hands that will allow him to master an array of pass-rush moves, and he does an outstanding job of transferring quickness to power as a pass-rusher.
He's a notch below where Julius Peppers was when he was coming out of UNC in terms of athleticism for his frame, but he's in the same ballpark.
Lefty at Rosewood Crawfish Festival 4:30-5:30 @leftymusic @grookster @beng803
Better motor than Peppers though. Also, Peppers was/is a headcase whose priority never seemed like it was all football. Clowney has more of a one track mind - "kill quarterback".
the notch below peppers in terms of athleticism for his frame is BS imo.
To err is human... to really screw things up you need a computer!
In other news water is wet. Good chance Clowney would be the #1 this year if he was coming out.
Peppers was an All American in football AND played basketball for UNC - I'd say that borders on the ridiculous!
I agree. I don't think there is a player in the NFL at DE that is quite as athletic as JD. And he's 19 or is he 20 yet?
Peppers chased down Vick from behind
He is only 19. He turns 20 on February 14 th
That's one big baby boy.
Don't be ridiculous; if Vick is running full speed there's no lineman in football who could chase him down.
Just because you tackle someone from behind doesn't mean that they were running full speed. Peppers is the most severely overrated or overhyped player I've ever watched.
cliff mathews chased down that NC state qb who is now with seattle, cant remember his name, but if they raced it wouldnt be close. But either way its impressive.
Clowney is the most physically gifted DE maybe ever, he has a good head on his shoulders as far as character and not being big into drinking/partying but I think what makes a player elite is mixing their superior athleticism with great thinking. If you are a quick thinker and can process information fast then the sky is the limit for you. If he puts 100% effort into reading defenses, learning new moves, and knowing when to do what he will be God's gift to football, and could go down as the best to ever play the position.
One of only 29 players to be in the 100 sack club
7 time pro bowler
2000's All Decade Team.
2004 NFC Defensive Player of the Year.
Sounds overrated to me.
I heard JD was so big when he was born he was born on February 14th AND 15th!!!
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