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Ex-Gamecock Clowney: “I Would Have Probably Stayed In College” If I’d Been Paid

gfx - they said itEx-South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney has elected to turn pro after his junior season with the Gamecocks.  No one was surprised by his decision.  Just as no one should be surprised that he told “Jim Rome on Showtime” that he would have stayed in school if he had been paid:

 

“Yes.  Having to take care of my family, it would have made a difference if I’d have gotten paid.  If I would have had the chance to take care of my family through college I would have probably stayed in college…

I think (players should be paid).  They are selling our jerseys with our numbers and making money off of ticket sales so I think college athletes should get paid.”

 

No one drafted Clowney or any other college football players.  Those athletes didn’t have to play college ball.  They chose to play college ball.  And if they didn’t see enough value in getting a free college education — when millions of Americans find themselves buried in student loans for half their lives — then they should have done something else with their time.

It’s the NFL that has an age limit.  Players should blame Roger Goodell and company if they want to bark about a lack of wages.

That or athletes should focus on baseball, a sport that allows them to become professionals right out of high school.

But the idea of playing players enough money to “take care” of their families is a non-starter.  The biggest schools in the five biggest conferences are fighting like hell for the right to give players an extra two grand or so per semester as part of a full-cost-of-tuition scholarship.  That’s as good as it’s gonna get for a while.  You think Clowney would view an extra two thousand per semester as enough cash to “take care of his family?”

Here’s guessing that answer is big ol’ no.

And since players aren’t going to be receiving salaries anytime soon, Clowney’s comments to Rome are meaningless.  He might as well have said, “I’d have stayed in college if I had wings.”

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Georgia Enjoys Big Recruiting Day By Landing Valdosta Pair

Georgia’s first piece of good news of the day on Thursday came when Valdosta (Ga.) High School tight end Jay Rome announced his commitment to Georgia.

“Georgia’s a great school, they have great football and it’s known as ‘Tight End U.’” Rome said. “At the end of the day, I wanted to stay home, stay in-state and get all the in-state love.”

Malcolm Mitchell decided he wants that, too. The defensive back from Valdosta announced his commitment to Georgia on Thursday night.

“Jay going there and being a friend had a little bit of influence on me but it was based on what I wanted,” Mitchell said, according to the Atlanta Journal Constitution. “That’s what it came down to. I had to do what I felt was right.”

Both Rome and Mitchell chose Georgia over Alabama. The Crimson Tide were close to landing Mitchell until Georgia swayed his decision last month.

“Alabama led the whole way, the whole way,” Mitchell said. “I thought at one time that’s where I was going to go.”

Georgia has to be glad Mitchell and Rome chose to play for the Bulldogs. Rome is ranked the No. 4 tight end and No. 56 prospect in the nation by Rivals.com. Mitchell is considered the nation’s best cornerback and 30th best prospect by Rivals.

Georgia has 21 commitments for the 2011 class. Sixteen of those 21 commitments are from the state of Georgia. The Bulldogs moved up to the No. 9 spot in the Rivals team rankings thanks to their two new commits.

The Bulldogs are hoping to land more in-state prospects before signing day. Running back Isaiah Crowell and defensive end Ray Drew are two of the top priorities for Georgia, which picked up a commitment from one of Crowell’s teammates on Wednesday.

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Mitchell, Rome Preparing For Announcement

Defensive back Malcolm Mitchell and tight end Jay Rome from Valdosta (Ga.) High School are preparing to make their college announcements on Thursday.

Mitchell, whose decision will come down to Alabama and Georgia, took an official visit to Alabama this weekend.

“It was a good visit,” Mitchell told BamaOnline.com. “I had a lot of fun, and even though I have been down there a bunch of times I was able to learn a little bit more about the place than I did before.”

Mitchell took his official visit to Georgia last month. He’s part of an in-state class that Georgia is hoping to land to finish with one of the nation’s best classes.

“I like Alabama because they compete for championships and I have a good bond with their coaches like Coach (Nick) Saban and (Jeremy) Pruitt,” Mitchell said. “At Georgia, I like the coaches and players and Coach Richt and I are pretty close. I am just going to pray about it and talk it over with my family.”

Rome was in Tuscaloosa this weekend with Mitchell. Rome, who’s also considering Georgia, Tennessee and Clemson, told the Atlanta Journal Constitution earlier this month that Georgia was his leader. Of course, that was before his visit to Alabama.

The announcement from Mitchell and Rome will take place at 7 p.m. on Thursday. Rome insisted that making an announcement together meant nothing for the schools they will be choosing.

“Nah,” Rome said. “It doesn’t mean anything.”

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Tight End Rome Deciding On Trips

Tight end Jay Rome from Valdosta (Ga.) High School will be taking his college visits soon.

Rome hopes to be in Athens to watch Georgia play Georgia Tech next week. He also plans to check out Alabama, Tennessee and Clemson, according to the Atlanta Journal Constitution.

When might Rome make his decision?

“I’m going to try to do it by the Under Armour (All-America) Game (on Jan. 5),” Rome told the AJC, “but I’m not sure if I’ll have a decision by then.”

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