Jadeveon Clowney has finally made his college choice public, and he will attend the University of South Carolina. He's been expected to go to Columbia for quite some time, so it's a little puzzling as to why he needed two extra weeks to make his decision known. There's no such thing as bad publicity, I guess.
The phrase you'll hear from now until the season is "Marcus Lattimore of the defense" in regards to Clowney, who comes to college with about as much hype as anyone in recent memory has. South Carolina is the defending SEC East champion, and getting the boost from Clowney for the defense might help solidify the Gamecocks as the division's best team again in 2011. Georgia has a ways to climb up from 6-7, Tennessee's roster is about 70% underclassmen according to Derek Dooley, and Florida turned over nearly its entire coaching staff.
It would have been a big blow to Steve Spurrier and his staff had they lost the biggest in-state prospect in a long time to Clemson, Clowney's reported second choice (he also considered Alabama, but it was too far away for his mother's liking). The Gamecocks have taken two straight from their upstate rivals, who don't appear to be any better off under Dabo Swinney than they were with Tommy Bowden. With an SEC East title under its belt and perhaps another on the way, South Carolina landing Clowney only confirms the momentum the program is currently collecting.
This commitment has to make the Gamecocks the clear-cut favorites in the SEC East this fall, assuming he qualifies academically. If not South Carolina, then who?
So apparently the academic concerns have been cleared up.
Clowney on his grades, NYT story: "That's taken care of ... I'm going to get in."