Jadeveon Clowney entered the 2013 season as arguably the most hyped player in the nation. Even as an exclusively defensive player, the 6-foot-6, 275-pound athletic freak harbored Heisman Trophy hopes as a junior this fall.
He still has a chance to reach the podium in a few months’ time. However, should he reach the pinnacle of his sport, he will have to do so with painful bone spurs in his foot.
The superstar South Carolina defensive end admitted to the media after the Gamecocks’ 35-25 win over Vanderbilt that he will be needing surgery in the offseason.
“I’m going to get it cleaned out after the season’s over with,” Clowney told the Spartanburg (S.C.) Herald Journal, via ESPN.
Clowney collected a whopping 23.5 tackles for a loss and 13 sacks as a sophomore in 2012. Through three games this year, the star has been limited to two sacks and three tackles for a loss. Unfortunately, things may only get tougher for him from here. Clowney reported that the bone spurs tend to build up pain the more active he is on his feet.
“The more I keep going the more it bothers me,” Clowney told the newspaper.
“It’s painful,” Clowney said of the foot. “I’m out here playing on it though. I’m just trying to give it everything I’ve got.”
Luckily for coach Steve Spurrier and the team, Clowney won’t have to give it very much at all until October – and even after that, the schedule is favorable enough that he could be resting when fourth quarters roll around. South Carolina has a bye this week, and then heads to Central Florida. The conference slate kicks off in earnest from there, but the Gamecocks’ first four games are against Kentucky, Arkansas, Tennessee and Mizzou, all of which are expected to finish in the bottom half of the league in 2013.