Mother knows best? South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney’s future has been debated quite a bit this week after a Charlotte Observer columnist suggested that Clowney should sit out the 2013 season to avoid injury since he’s already considered to be the top prospect for the 2014 NFL Draft. The conversation heated up even more after Kentucky’s Nerlens Noel, a projected lottery pick in the 2013 NBA Draft, tore his ACL this week.
You can count Clowney’s mother Josenna Clowney amongst the group that opposes the argument that Clowney should sit his junior season in Columbia out. “I talked to him this week, and he wants to play,” said Josenna Clowney (via CNNSI.com). “I don’t think he has it in him to sit out. He loves to play football. I know I want him to play.”
Josenna Clowney, 40, has reportedly worked at Frito-Lay plant in Charlotte for 18 years. CNNSI.com reports that while she is looking forward to retiring when her son signs his NFL contract, Clowney doesn’t want to enjoy her early retirement at the expense of her son missing the Gamecocks’ 2013 season.
Jadeveon Clowney will make his own decision about 2013, but there are reasonable arguments on both sides of this issue. I tend to agree with Gamecocks coach Steve Spurrier’s position, but there is something to be said for the fact that even a $5 million dollar insurance policy wouldn’t cover Clowney’s projected NFL earnings if he suffered a career-ending injury in 2013, and it may not even cover what he would lose if fell in the draft after tearing up his knee like his ex-teammate Marcus Lattimore.
Clowney is reportedly committed to playing for the Gamecocks for now, but questions about whether he will suit up in 2013 are sure to linger on. One thing that is all but certain is the fact that NFL’s 2011 Collective Bargaining Agreement will likely preclude Clowney from prevailing on a Maurice Clarrett-like challenge of the NFL’s draft eligibility rules.