Monday, February 14, 2011


A year ago, head coach Steve Spurrier used a few dance moves to win over the mother of prized recruit Marcus Lattimore. This year, Spurrier was a little more direct and simply kept asking No. 1 overall recruit Jadeveon Clowney to be his Valentine.

Different method, same result for the Ol' Ball Coach.

The final commitment for the class of 2011, Clowney selected South Carolina live on national television surrounded by friends and family at his high school.

"It's been very hard," Clowney said. "People were coming from me from all different [directions].

"I'm headed to the University of ... South Carolina."

The Rock Hill (S.C.) South Pointe defensive end was a terror for opposing offenses throughout his senior season, racking up 162 tackles, 11 forced fumbles and an eye-popping 29.5 sacks. One of the few consensus No. 1 recruits coming out of high school, Clowney has been compared to NFL stars Mario Williams and Julius Peppers.

The addition of Clowney doesn't mean you can pencil the Gamecocks in for championship, however. According to the National Football Post, only six of the past 25 overall number one recruits went on to win national championships at their schools. For Clowney though, the decision to go to South Carolina was about more than winning.

"I chose them because I have a lot of friends and it's close to home so my mom can see me play all the time," he said. "I'll play with a couple of teammates up there. I have a couple of friends going this year. I want to play with them."

The move is a considerable boost to South Carolina's overall recruiting class. Prior to Clowney's commitment, the Gamecocks had MaxPreps' number 12 overall class in 2011. Adding the No. 1 player in the nation should not only bump South Carolina into the top 10 but gives the reigning SEC East champions a recruiting class full of quality players to add to a number of key returning players for next year.

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