OT: Interesting Article on Jadeveon Clowney

Submitted by UMFoster on February 11th, 2013 at 10:30 AM

This is my first post so don't be too critical on me.

I ran across this artical today about Jadeveon Clowney and how he is pretty much guarenteed to be the #1 overall pick next year. Some people think Clowney should skip his junior year, hire an agent and train for the draft.

I was looking for other peoples opinions on this. Is this what college is coming to? I was always taught to play hard and play for your teammates and school no matter what. It seems as though college is just a stepping stone and is no longer about playing for a title or playing because you love the game.

I thought this was a very interesting article and would love to hear some of your opinions.

EDIT: I'm not saying anything about a player leaving after his junior year. I have no problem with that. I'm talking about someone skipping their junior year to just train. Clowney has to wait a year anyways so why not play? He didn't say that he is going to do this so I'm not knocking on him. I'm just pointing out how people look at this issue. I realize college is a stepping stone and my choice of words were poor. What I meant was the fact that some players don't play for the love of the game anymore. In todays world it's all about money and less about playing the game because you love it.



February 11th, 2013 at 10:39 AM ^

I brought more tires for the fire.  But in all seriousness I thinkthat in high-profile, high-visibility situations like this it may seem like this is what college football "has come to", but when you think about the hundreds of men on 120 FBS teams, I'd say this is an exception and not a rule. 


February 11th, 2013 at 10:55 AM ^

in rare instances where you are this good at an early age, the smart money is to take the guaranteed #1 position and the $$$$ that comes with it. I would argue that it's best to take the sure thing and then go back and finish your degree later (Desmond Howard) since a 4 year degree at any school does even guarantee a job anymore. Especially a degree in sociology, kinesiology, african studies or any if the other cupcake degrees that many athletes pursue.

Monocle Smile

February 11th, 2013 at 10:35 AM ^

Firstly, I don't understand why people think Clowney should peace out...mostly because I don't think he can. You need three years of college, last I heard.

Lots of players take off for the NFL after three years. See, not everyone comes from a decent background. Guaranteed money is better than another year of possibly getting hurt with NO money when you're thinking about your family.

Also, very few college football players make it to the NFL, so you're basically complaining about a very small minority of players who forego their senior year of eligibility. This isn't exactly a recent trend; I'm not sure why you think it is.


February 11th, 2013 at 10:45 AM ^

Right.  I've always wondered why people don't go to Canada and play there for a year or two, get paid, then enter the NFL.  What are the CFL's rules on eligibility?  What are the rules for moving from the CFL to the NFL (while only 3 years removed from HS)?  Would they still enter the draft, or would they be a free agent of some kind?



February 11th, 2013 at 2:44 PM ^

CFL is a step DOWN from NCAA D-I, both in terms of play and coaching (ahem, my Chicago Bears, you listening?)... and, I hear the fields in Canada are like running on a 1/4 inch carpet on top of concrete -- horrible injury risks there.  SO -- why on earth would he go to frigid Canada when he has it made at balmy USC (NTUSC). 

If you mean, he won't need to go to classes -- what, you think he's actually going now???


February 11th, 2013 at 10:40 AM ^

The rule is that you have to be 3 years out of high school i believe. You don't have to play 3 seasons. I have no problem with people leaving after their junior year to leave for the NFL, but he has one more year at South Carolina. He can't enter the draft for one more year anyway so why not play and try to win a conference title or a national title?

Monocle Smile

February 11th, 2013 at 10:43 AM ^

It seems to me that you're upset at something that Clowney himself hasn't addressed. Has he expressed the desire to take a year off before the draft? Or is this just speculation from guys who need things to talk about?

Who cares what some dudes on the internet say? I seriously, seriously doubt Clowney takes a year off to train. That's just a stupid idea.


February 11th, 2013 at 12:06 PM ^

I can't think of anyone who's voluntarily taken a year off to protect themselves from injury.

That said, if anyone would have the case to do it, it would be Clowney. Scouts are almost unanymous is saying he'd be the #1 pick this year, and that he will be next year as well barring injury. So he doesn't have anything to "prove" to scouts or NFL teams. He's just finished a year in which he saw his highly rated teammate suffer a devastating knee injury that's likely to drop his draft position several rounds, and therefore cost him hundreds of thousands of dollars. For Clowney, given his higher draft position, a similar injury related drop would cost him milliions. 

It's obviously an abstract question, because Clowney hasn't proposed doing it. And it would likely cause all kinds of "don't you love the game" stuff from media members, as well as an outflowing of hatred from South Carolina fans that would make his life miserable. But it wouldn't be absurd from a career standpoint.


February 11th, 2013 at 10:43 AM ^

I came from a supportive upper-middle class background but if someone offered me even a million dollars to turn pro I would jump at it. The guaranteed money that a lottery pick gets is way too much to pass up even if you love your school and your fall back is investment banking. Besides, at least one of my buddies had it in his contract that when he's done playing the organization that drafted him is obligated to pay for him to return for his degree.


February 11th, 2013 at 10:37 AM ^

But he was held in check by Lewan and the hit on Smith was unblocked because of a missed assignment. Hiring an agent and training for a year would be foolish as he already plays against the best competition he's able to compete with.

Benoit Balls

February 11th, 2013 at 10:38 AM ^

a year off, it is highly unlikely he would go #1 (maybe not even top 10).  Just my opinion, but I think NFL teams are rather stodgy and archaic with their thinking, especially when risk is involved. They would view the year off as a humongous risk, and I think it would hurt him.

Just my $0.02

French West Indian

February 11th, 2013 at 1:19 PM ^

...I'd be so certain of that.  With all the talk of injuries (especially brain damage) these days, I not sure an NFL would necessarily hold it against him for avoiding the added abuse of a full season.

Besides, the NFL lusts after talent above all else.  If Clowney still manages top scores at the combine, I don't think anybody would hesitate to take him just because he hasn't been on a field in 12 months.


February 11th, 2013 at 10:38 AM ^

So a religion thread, a thread reminding us of Saturday's loss and now a thread about the guy who decapitated VC. What a wonderful fucking day on MGB.


February 11th, 2013 at 10:39 AM ^

I think it's important to remember that kids like Clowney don't come around too often, and for players of that level, college is merely a stepping stone. That's not to say that college football doesn't matter to them, but it is merely a stepping stone for these guys.

It's also important to remember that there are 84 other scholarship players and numerous walk-ons on every team and for a majority of these guys, playing for the team and for championships are very important, because come their senior year, it's likely to be the finally time they play the game they love.


February 11th, 2013 at 10:40 AM ^

It's tough because the NFL has become a multi billion dollar organization. It seems everyone wants a cut from players, owners, agents, television, gamblers, retailers, big business sponsors & former players via the court. It will only get worse until the game implodes on itself.

That being said most of the players are of that gladiator mind set and play because that is what they are meant to do. Anyone who would sit out is missing that gene and probably isn't the player they are making them out to be.


February 11th, 2013 at 10:44 AM ^

the rule says three years after your graduating class, not three years of risking your health for no legal personal financial gain. i say go for it, let the market determine your value rather than the ncaa and see what happens. it worked out for Robert Smith, not so well for Clarett.


February 11th, 2013 at 10:59 AM ^

Just watched 'Broke' last night on the WWL. The trends predict he won't have any money in 10 years. He'd be better off getting a degree in the long term but 1st pick money is difficult to pass up. Hoping he gets good advice on how to handle the cash.


February 11th, 2013 at 10:59 AM ^

Two issues here -- (1) going to NFL prior to graduation, and (2) foregoing junior year and using time to train for draft.

As for (1) ... I would like to avoid judging players who do that.  Lots of considerations come into play, and if they feel it's the right thing for them, then it's the right thing for them.**

As for (2) ... The consideration is risk of injury during year vs. additional skills and development to assure higher draft spot.  There is insurance one can get in the event of injury (Taylor Lewan will no doubt have that), but the coverage can't be anywhere near what a high-first-round pick would get.  Tough call, to be sure.

What comes to my mind is something purely mathematical ...and I don't know if statistics exist for this.  Question -- is the DE position one more or less prone to injury than other positions?  Anything is possible, of course ... but it strikes me DEs are generally less prone than, say, interior linemen or running backs.

** That said, if one chooses to leave early and things don't pan out for them (i.e., Warren Donovan) then my sympathies do not flow easily.  Make bed, lie in bed, etc.


February 11th, 2013 at 11:22 AM ^

If it seems like college is a stepping stone, that's because it is.  For students and for student-athletes alike.  If someone offered riches and respect and a career to 20 year old me, I would left college at a speed that would have bent the laws of physics.  If Clowney decides next year that his training is complete, he should leave.  None of us fans should allow ourselves to get terribly emotional about this. 

The argument that players no longer play for "love" of the game assumes that there was ever a period of time in recent history during which elite college players played for love of the game.  The few conversations that I've had with former players suggest that is that this is nothing more than another crappy sports fan/sports media trope--part of the myth of sports culture.   Elite college players and pro players (in football, at least) generally don't "love" the game.  At best, they view the game as a career--i.e., a potential and/or actual source of income, respect, and life enrichment.  At worst, they deeply resent the game that provides income at the cost of their mental and physical well being. 

Ali G Bomaye

February 11th, 2013 at 11:36 AM ^

What's the point of college?  To prepare you for your career.  If Clowney has an opportunity to go #1 overall, then college has prepared him for his career as completely as possible.  Given that he plays a sport in which his career can end on one freak play, it would be an incredibly stupid move to pass up $30 million guaranteed just to demonstrate his love for his school.  Even if he doesn't get hurt, but his performance slides a little and he goes 10th overall, then he would essentially have paid $15 million for the opportunity to play one more year in college.

Besides the risk, there is also the matter that under the new rookie salary scale, top NFL players don't get paid their market value until their 5th or 6th season, when they sign their first free agent contract.  As a DE, Clowney probably won't be productive past age 33 or so, and since he's going to be a 1st round pick, he will have to sign a 5-year rookie contract.  If he comes out after his junior season he will be 21, which means he will only have 7 years (ages 27-33) to get paid at a top level.  If he stays for his senior season, he will get drafted at age 22, and will shorten his paid career by a year - effectively giving up 10-15% of his career earnings for the chance to play another year in college.

Any way you slice it, coming back to college is incredibly costly for a top NFL prospect.  There's no "right" or "wrong" decision here; it depends on the kid's priorities.  But I think the vast majority of us would take the money and go to the NFL.


February 11th, 2013 at 11:39 AM ^

While you certainly wouldn't hold a kid back you can make the argument that kids at schools like UM or ND relish the opportunity and are not looking for the quick strike.  See Lewan, Floyd, Te'o.  All kids who could have gone after year 3, but chose to come back.


February 11th, 2013 at 4:07 PM ^

While some players are playing for their dream school, I have a feeling most are playing at a school which would give them the best opportunity to play at the next level.  So, when the opportunity comes to play another year in college or get paid, they'll choose to get paid... because that's what they came there for.   There are always some exceptions.  


February 11th, 2013 at 12:15 PM ^

I am sure that Clowney will be drafted very high. If the current prediction is number 1 in next year's draft, I would reluctantly support his training for the draft and being done now.

Having said that, another option would be to insure himself in the case of injury. Playing another year will keep him in shape and give him full access to the SC S&C facilities, etc. If he is insured for approximately the amount of income he could expect as a number 1 draft pick, this would take away the financial motivation to quit now, and still protect his family's financial welfare.

Another factor is how much he enjoys (or doesn't enjoy) going to school at South Carolina. If he is only in college to get to the NFL, what's the point? There are some individuals (i.e., Jake Long, or Taylor Lewan) who actually enjoy being in school, and the camaraderie of the game. For others, it is just a job, and a means to an end. This is true in every field of life. I think that one of the things making Denard so enjoyable was his joy of life, regardless of what he does as a "professional."


February 11th, 2013 at 12:50 PM ^

He is like the Lebron James, Kevin Garnett case.  Clowney looked like an NFL player coming out of high school and teams would have drafted him in the first round then if they had the chance.

I think he will come back and play his junior season, because it would look bad to take a year off, but in reality he is being held back by a rule that is terrible for him.


February 11th, 2013 at 3:55 PM ^

Consider if med or law school allowed students to enroll without graduating.  If a junior in undergrad got accepted to one of those school, why wouldn't he take it?  Of course, senior year is amazing and college is great but if a kid decides to go that route (which is much less lucrative than being the #1 pick in fball) then why would it seem like a bad decision?