South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier says it about his star defensive end Jadeveon Clowney all the time: he’s a three-year player. Clowney’s played two of those years already, he’ll play one more, and then he’ll go to the NFL, where he will be the No. 1 pick of the 2014 draft barring injury. His talent is that evident – evident in the 13 sacks and 21.5 total tackles for a loss he piled up this season.
But it might never have been more evident than it was on one play in the Outback Bowl against Michigan today, which ended in a 33-28 South Carolina win. South Carolina had just been placed in a tough spot by a bad, well, spot – Michigan was awarded a first down when it appeared to come up short. So Clowney toom matters into his own hands. Well, actually, he only needed one hand:
What’s that? You want another look, in gif form? Coming right up:
And another? Here you go:
And that’s why it’s a good idea to, you know, block a 6-6, 260-pound behemoth who has such speed that he once ran for a 97-yard touchdown in high school. What a force. The hit was enough, but notice that after he forces the fumble, he recovers it by PICKING IT UP WITH ONE HAND, as easily as if he shot a Spider-Man web out to haul it in. The guy’s practically Paul Bunyan in pads at this point, and short as his time in the college game will be, Spurrier has to feel pretty fortunate Clowney’s spending it on his side.