Gamecocks Practice Thursday
March 7, 2013
The University of South Carolina football squad worked out for two hours Thursday afternoon at the Bluff Road practice fields. The squad again was dressed in helmets and shorts, as they practiced for the second time this spring.
Following the workout, junior defensive end Jadeveon Clowney addressed the local media for the first time this spring. Clowney, a Heisman Trophy candidate in 2013 after finishing sixth last season, has experienced a plethora of media attention since his bone-crushing hit of a Michigan running back in the 2013 Outback Bowl win.
"I don't pay any attention (to the hype)," said Clowney. "I've just been working out and going to class." Clowney said he never thought about sitting out the season, as many national pundits have suggested. "Sitting out? I never thought of it. I'm going to go to school and play." He admitted he was "surprised" by the attention the subject has garnered.
Defensive coordinator Lorenzo Ward has put an emphasis on Clowney playing 100 percent all of the time. "He's trying to say to me, `don't come out here and play to not get injured. Just do what I've been doing since I've been here - playing hard on every play.'"
Clowney confirmed he is currently weighing 273 after playing at 260 last year. He indicated he ran "something like" a 4.54 40-yard dash recently. "It's about the same as what I have been running (since I've been in college)." He said that he ran faster in high school. "I want to keep my speed up. I don't want to gain weight and then get slower. I put on like 12 pounds, 13 pounds and kept my same speed, so that's pretty good."
Clowney also confirmed that he has taken out an insurance policy for $5 million through the NCAA.
The Hendricks Trophy winner said he's ready for the media attention he will be receiving this season. "I'm ready for it. 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."
Clowney has a couple goals for the coming season. "More sacks. And I'm going to try to lead my team to more wins."
The Gamecocks will take next week off for spring break, so they will not return to the practice fields until Tuesday, March 19.