By: John Wickham

I, like a lot of America, was once very high on Jadeveon Clowney. I remember when he was getting recruited out of high school. I remember his first game against Georgia, his freshmen year, when he had 2 sacks. And the next year where he had 2 tackles for a loss, including a sack. His freshmen year he had an unassuming 36 tackles and 8 sacks. Good not great. Not the kind of stats that were expected from a player arriving onto South Carolina’s campus with that much hype. His sophomore season he exploded for 54 tackles and 13 sacks. He also had a hit against Michigan that has been replayed ad nauseam.

I think it was then that every NFL fan was drooling at that once in a great while prospect and figuring out scenarios on how they could get him on their team. But he could not come out then. We all had to wait one more year.

Then came the rumors that he might sit out the season and not jeopardize his chance as a potential number 1 pick. He also took out an insurance policy in case he got injured. It is understandable; if you play and get hurt you can lose millions of dollars or maybe never play again. I think that is when I started to question him. It was all rumors but you can’t help but hear it and have your opinion changed. Next he looked sluggish and lazy in his first game of the season. Then his coach questioned his choice of not playing with a rib injury. It seemed he bought into his own hype.

But after watching film of him and hearing what other people say about him I can’t stop getting excited about him. The Falcons’ season has gone up in flames and they should be in pretty good position to get him. He has 27 tackles with 6.5 tackles for a loss and 2 sacks in 9 games this season. He still has 3 regular season games, a bowl game, and a potential SEC Championship game to get his stats up. There is also still the Combine, his Pro day, college all-star games and his interviews that can help bring back up his stock. I am not all the way back to riding on the bandwagon, but I have a foot on the wagon ready to climb in.