College Football: No regrets from Lattimore; Clowney staying

  • Posted: Friday, February 15, 2013 11:02 p.m.
FILE - In this Nov. 17, 2012 file photo, South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney talks with teammates on the sidelines during the second half of an NCAA college football game against Wofford in Columbia, S.C.  South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier says star defensive end Clowney doesn't want to quit on his team and is looking forward to playing football for the Gamecocks in 2013.  Clowney's status become a trending topic this week, with some columnist suggesting the sophomore might sit out the season to protect his health and likely high draft position in 2014. (AP Photo/Stephen Morton, File)
FILE - In this Nov. 17, 2012 file photo, South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney talks with teammates on the sidelines during the second half of an NCAA college football game against Wofford in Columbia, S.C. South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier says star defensive end Clowney doesn't want to quit on his team and is looking forward to playing football for the Gamecocks in 2013. Clowney's status become a trending topic this week, with some columnist suggesting the sophomore might sit out the season to protect his health and likely high draft position in 2014. (AP Photo/Stephen Morton, File)

Associated Press

COLUMBIA, S.C. — Jadeveon Clowney and Marcus Lattimore have talked since the football season ended, just not about injuries.

Yet that seems to be all everyone is talking about when it comes to the South Carolina duo. Lattimore, rehabbing from his horrific knee injury in hopes of being selected in the upcoming NFL draft, said recently that he and Clowney talk about what’s ahead for them in football, not about what might go wrong.


“That’s not something that’s in my mind,” he said.

Lattimore hasn’t given Clowney any advice about the future, but would not trade his experience at South Carolina, even with two serious knee injuries.

“I don’t regret anything,” Lattimore said. “I know that everything happens for a reason.”

Because of Lattimore’s injury, questions have been raised whether Clowney should skip this season, train on his own and protect a potential $22 million investment as the No. 1 pick in 2014. Clowney has said he’s playing.

Still, he just finished his sophomore season and won’t be eligible for the pros for another year. Several NFL draft analysts, including ESPN’s Todd McShay, believe the 6-foot-6, 256-pound Clowney would go No. 1 this April. That’s led to plenty of debate about Clowney’s future.

“It gave everybody something to talk about,” South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier said.

Clowney’s response so far has just been a simple comment on Twitter this week, “I’m playing lol.”

The Gamecocks coach has talked with Clowney and said the All-American has goals to chase — Clowney finished sixth in the Heisman Trophy race last reach — in college and won’t quit on his teammates.

Clowney is in school and participating in team workouts. Spurrier expects him on the field when the team opens spring practice March 5.

But Clowney does have a few options to protect himself — and his future.

He and his family can purchase up to $5 million worth of insurance under the NCAA’s “Exceptional Student-Athlete Disability Program.” Qualifying athletes are eligible a loan to help finance the cost of the policy.

Clowney was the Southeastern Conference freshman of the year that fall. He stepped up his game significantly this past season. Clowney forced a game-saving fumble late to defeat Tennessee and posted 41/2 sacks in a win over rival Clemson in November.

He was third nationally with 13 sacks and finished sixth in Heisman Trophy balloting.

Clowney’s signature moment, though, came in the Outback Bowl when he hit Michigan running back Vincent Smith full-on, dislodging Smith’s helmet before recovering the fumble with one hand in a 33-28 victory.

“That hit was something,” Lattimore said.

Clowney appears to be preparing for an encore — as a Gamecock.

Clowney said in December before the Outback Bowl he wasn’t interested in insurance against getting hurt, though he might have a change of heart. Defensive coordinator Lorenzo Ward has said the coaches will make sure Clowney knows all his options.

There have been reports that Richard Salgado, the head of Coastal Advisors LLC, had been contacted by someone connected to Clowney about obtaining insurance.

Salgado’s company offers insurance for pro athletes and lists Arizona’s Larry Fitzgerald and Buffalo’s C.J. Spiller among his clients. Salgado did not immediately return emails and calls from The Associated Press.

McShay said Clowney would be better off playing, that sitting out would raise unnecessary questions about Clowney’s commitment. He said Clowney can also use the year to improve his strength and overall game, plus show the maturity of someone excelling despite the “outside noise.”

Spurrier understands the outside discussion. He also said it shows those doing the talking don’t fully understand the significance of team competition.

“They don’t know how important it is for Jadeveon to be with his college team,” said Spurrier, who earns $3.3 million a year. “You know there’s more to life than how can you make a whole bunch of money.”

It seems everyone has to say something about Clowney, which is nothing new for him.

He was the top prospect in college football two years ago and delayed his college announcement more than a week after singing day — he waited until Valentine’s Day, his birthday — before selecting the Gamecocks.

Clowney was the Southeastern Conference freshman of the year that fall. He stepped up his game significantly this past season. Clowney forced a game-saving fumble late to defeat Tennessee and posted 4 1-2 sacks in a win over rival Clemson in November.

He was third nationally with 13 sacks and finished sixth in Heisman Trophy balloting.

Clowney’s signature moment, though, came in the Outback Bowl when he hit Michigan running back Vincent Smith full-on, dislodging Smith’s helmet before recovering the fumble with one hand in a 33-28 victory.

“That hit was something,” Lattimore said.

Clowney appears to be preparing for an encore — as a Gamecock.

Notice about comments:

Salisburypost.com is pleased to offer readers the ability to comment on stories. We expect our readers to engage in lively, yet civil discourse. Salisburypost.com cannot promise that readers will not occasionally find offensive or inaccurate comments posted in the comments area. Responsibility for the statements posted lies with the person submitting the comment, not Salisburypost.com. If you find a comment that is objectionable, please click "report abuse" and we will review it for possible removal. Please be reminded, however, that in accordance with our Terms of Use and federal law, we are under no obligation to remove any third party comments posted on our website. Full terms and conditions can be read here.

Do not post the following:

  • Potentially libelous statements or damaging innuendo.
  • Obscene, explicit, or racist language.
  • Personal attacks, insults or threats.
  • The use of another person's real name to disguise your identity.
  • Comments unrelated to the story.