South Carolina Gamecocks star defensive end Jadeveon Clowney is one of the most dominating players and college football and a legitimate candidate for the 2013 Heisman Trophy. While it seems all but certain that Clowney will make the leap to the NFL after his junior campaign, how crazy would it be if the star defensive end decided not to play this season.
That is exactly the scenario that Tom Sorensen of the Charlotte Observer passed along in his recent article.
It would certainly be interesting if Clowney decided to sit out the year and focus on staying healthy and training for the 2014 NFL Scouting Combine, but what would the reaction be from NFL personnel? Would he lose any standing among the scouts?
It is highly unlikely.
If Clowney played any other sport, he would have had the chance to go pro by now and he would be getting paid to live out his dream. Instead, he is forced to waste away at the college level for one more season playing for free. He won’t get paid and the only thing that can happen is Clowney being injured and his future being in question.
All Clowney would need to do is look to his former college teammate Marcus Lattimore and see how his college career ended.
Clowney is a physical specimen and has the strength right now to take on NFL offensive linemen and there is no denying his skill level, but how would NFL teams react to a player putting himself above the team and choosing to sit out a year? That is the question that he would need to ask himself.
In the end, sitting out wouldn’t do anything to change the type of player Clowney is on the field.
As crazy as it seems, the right decision for Clowney would be to sit out the season and train for his career at the next level, but that won’t happen. Instead, Clowney will be forced to pay without compensation and hope that he makes it through the year without any long term damage. It is a shame that Clowney is being denied his chance to make a living right now, unfortunately that is the way the NFL eligibility cookie crumbles.