People say a lot of things about South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney. Most of those things are somewhere along the lines of "he's amazing and great and probably going to be the first pick in the 2014 draft." Those are all normal and accurate assessments.
Georgia head coach Mark Richt thinks Clowney is great too, but he went a step further than that:
"I would say that Clowney is the best football player in the world, though. Seriously, I think he might be the very best player who exists today at any level."
This comment raised a lot of eyebrows around the college football world, as you don't hear that kind of praise from coaches, namely on the opposite sideline, very often. Definitely one, or possibly even two of those eyebrows belong to Clowney's head coach, Steve Spurrier, who wasn't entirely sure what Richt was doing:
"That was a little strong right there," Spurrier said. "Obviously, Jadeveon is probably the best defensive lineman in college football. I think everyone agrees with that. But when you start putting linemen in there with quarterbacks, receivers and running backs, I don't know what he's trying to say. If he's trying to fatten up Jadeveon's thinking, I hope it doesn't work."
I mean, it's certainly possible that Richt was trying a little reverse psychology, but if all the praise hasn't already gotten into Clowney's head, these comments probably won't be the thing that pushes him over the edge into complacency. On the other hand, hey, maybe he meant it.