South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney will be on a regional cover of the upcoming spring football issue of Sports Illustrated. SI's Tim Layden wrote a feature on Clowney, which focuses on how his devastating tackle on Michigan running back Vincent Smith thrust him into the national spotlight.
Clowney is understandably getting heaped with praise entering his junior season, and some think he has an outside shot to win the Heisman Trophy. He's getting lots of compliments from NFL circles as well, including former coach and current ESPN analyst Jon Gruden:
"He runs gassers with the defensive backs. That’s the kind of speed he has He’s the perfect player against today’s offenses. You want to run that read option? Clowney will tackle the back, and if he doesn’t have the ball, he’ll go get the quarterback. He’s the number 1 pick whenever he comes out."
The next chance to get a look at Clowney and the Gamecocks will be in South Carolina's spring game, which will be on Saturday, April 13 at 1 p.m. at Williams-Brice Stadium. They open the regular season at home on Thursday, Aug. 29 against the North Carolina Tar Heels, in a rare matchup of the flagship institutions from the neighboring Carolinas.