Jadeveon Clowney (Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports)
Columbia, SC (WLTX) - Remember when there was all that speculation this winter that South Carolina star defensive end Jadeveon Clowney might sit out his junior year?
Nothing to it--and that's according to the man himself.
"Sitting out? I never thought of it," Clowney told reporters Thursday night. "I'm going to go to school and play."
Clowney is everybody's All-American, a potential Heisman Trophy candidate (extremely rare for a defensive player) and perhaps the most revered and feared player in college football. (As proof of his mystique, there's that clip of him hitting Michigan's Vincent Smith in January's Outback Bowl, which has gotten seemingly an innumerable amount of replays on ESPN.) PHOTOS: Frame-by-Frame of Clowney's Big Hit
But a few weeks ago, some had wondered if Clowney should skip his last year at Carolina to avoid a major injury before going pro.
NFL rules state a player can't enter the league until they're three years removed from high school, which for Clowney, won't be until 2014.
While he says he didn't think of taking that option, he did do something to get a little peace of mind: he purchased a $5 million insurance policy from the NCAA against a possible injury.
Clowney said he was surprised by all the attention the subject received, but he knows he'll get even more hype and interest as it gets closer to the start of the season.
"I'm ready for it," he said. "I'm just going to deal with it and keep playing like I've been playing, 100 percent. I'll just try to do better than I did last year."
For now, he's just focused on a few simple, clear goals.
"More sacks. And I'm going to try to lead my team to more wins."