South Carolina star defensive lineman Jadeveon Clowney sat out the Gamecocks' win over Kentucky Saturday with bruised ribs, but NFL executives are reportedly not worried about the potential No. 1 overall pick, as two NFL executives told USA Today "no one will care."
"If he's healthy, works out well and most importantly interviews well, it won't hurt him."
Clowney's injury caught the South Carolina coaches by surprise, and head coach Steve Spurrier seemed upset that his junior lineman could not play. Spurrier made the same kind of comments Monday, but sounded a little more defensive of his star player this time:
SOS: "If a player's in pain and he can't play, I don't want him to play. None of us do... We just didn't know until right before the game."— G&B Attack (@GABAttack) October 7, 2013
The former consensus top-ranked high school recruit in the country, Clowney had 12 tackles for loss his freshman year before a breakout season last year in which he had 23.5 tackles for loss and 13 sacks. This year, while struggling with injury, he has just three tackles for loss and two sacks in four games.
Our own Mocking the Draft has Clowney as the top-rated prospect in the potential 2014 class.