How’d you like to be the guy charged with facing Jadeveon Clowney in 2013 football season’s opening game? Every mistake will be magnified by ESPN cameras pointed directly at your man-to-man matchup with arguably the best player in college football today.
For North Carolina offensive lineman James Hurst, the challenge is an opportunity:
“(Clowney’s) a great player, probably the best player in college football, but you can’t play the game scared. You can’t let him intimidate you or you’ve already lost. He’s going to make his plays and hopefully I make a few of my own. I know I won’t be out there alone…
Everyone sees (Clowney) as a great player. I’m going to use this opportunity to kind of prove myself and show everyone that I’m capable of playing at the top level.”
The tough part for Hurst is simply a fact of life for offensive linemen: You can win your individual battle 90% of the time, but if the other 10% result in sacks, lost yardage or turnovers, you’re the guy who’s gonna be seen on “SportsCenter” being used as a turnstile on those one or two plays… again and again and again. And again.
Just ask Michigan’s players if they’ve enjoyed seeing one play from their Outback Bowl loss to Clowney and Gamecocks all offseason.