Good luck to the kid, where ever he goes. The craziness of some of these fans from all 3 schools is frightening.
The world will learn the decision of defensive end Jadeveon Clowney from South Pointe High School in Rock Hill, S.C., when he announces his choice on ESPN’s “SportsCenter” this morning at 10:15 eastern time.
Clowney is expected to choose among South Carolina, Alabama and Clemson.
“While I would still give (South Carolina) the edge,” ESPN analyst Jamie Newberg said last week, according to the Charleston Post and Courier, “I’ve got to believe in stuff I’ve learned from Signing Day to today that Clemson is right there.”
Clowney’s decision will come with much anticipation. He’s considered the nation’s No. 1 prospect by many recruiting services, including Rivals.com, Scout.com, 247sports.com and ESPN.
Clowney has reached somewhat of a rock star status with the attention of his recruitment.
“There’s no way to describe it, and you couldn’t imagine how wild it’s been,” Clowney’s high school coach, Bobby Carroll, told ESPN.com.
Carroll agreed with Newberg in calling South Carolina the favorite to land Clowney. Carroll also agreed that Clemson has made a late push, and he said Alabama has recruited Clowney the hardest of any team.
Many people have been critical of the attention given to Clowney, who has yet to prove his talents at the college level. Stewart Mandel of Sports Illustrated understands why ESPN will cover the announcement live.
I do, too. While he has yet to play on the college level, Clowney has proven his athletic talents and left little doubt about his long-term potential. There’s no way to argue against the idea that his decision should have a significant impact on whichever school he chooses.
Clowney has also dealt with more attention in the last year than the average college football or NFL player receives. Clowney even told ESPN The Magazine he had to change his cell phone number to help lessen the amount of phone calls he was receiving from college coaches and members of the media. With the many hours he’s sacrificed for others, why not allow him to have the nation’s spotlight for half an hour?
While there’s little concern about Clowney’s ability on the field, there is a question of whether he will make it to a college field next fall. Pete Thamel of the New York Times wrote this weekend about Clowney’s academic concerns, which have been widely discussed before Thamel’s story was posted.
The eye-opener from Thamel’s story was the on-the-record comments from Hargrave Military Academy coach Troy Davis, who said he has spoken to Clowney about potentially attending Hargrave if he doesn’t qualify for college next year.
Davis told the Times he has reviewed Clowney’s transcript and considers it consistent with those of other prospects who had failed to meet the NCAA’s standards.
“A lot of D’s on there,” Davis told the Times.
As wrong as I think it is for Davis to speak in detail about a high school player’s transcript, it’s still out there. Clowney could be an immediate impact player at the college level, but he will also open himself up to more criticism if he doesn’t qualify for college after allowing so much attention to be placed on today’s announcement.
Clowney told the Times he will qualify next fall and hasn’t considered enrolling in a postgraduate school, such as Hargrave. He said he “was not going to have to” do such a thing.
Clowney will certainly celebrate the decision once it’s finally made public, and the attention will likely die down once the secret is eliminated. Clowney will have something else to celebrate, too. Today is his 18th birthday.