Jadeveon Clowney (Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports)
Columbia, SC (WLTX) - South Carolina Head Football Coach Steve Spurrier doesn't seem too worried about a suggestion that star defensive end Jadeveon Clowney should sit out next season.
The talk began Monday when the Charlotte Observer's Tom Sorenson wrote a column where he said Clowney should think about not playing the 2013 season.
NFL rules mandate that a player has to be three years removed from high school to play pro football. Sorenson's key argument was this: Clowney--who most agree would be the first pick in this year's NFL draft if he were eligible--shouldn't risk a potential career-ending injury by suiting up this year.
Sorenson said if Clowney were in any other sport, he'd have the ability to make money right now as a professional.
ESPN picked up on Sorenson's column, and discussed it on several broadcasts. Tuesday morning, ESPN's "Mike & Mike in the Morning" devoted a significant portion of their show weighing the pros and cons of a star football player skipping his junior year to prepare himself for the NFL.
Clowney himself hasn't specifically addressed the issue, but an account believed to be operated by the Rock Hill native sent this message via Twitter: "I'm playing. LOL."
Spurrier seemed to get a laugh out of the speculation too.
"Well I hope he plays this year, and I certainly believe he should play," Spurrier told the Atlanta-Journal Constitution Tuesday. "Jadeveon likes football. Football players play football. They don't wait around on this, that or the other."
Spurrier has said on several occasions that he expects Clowney to play his junior year, then turn pro.