ROCK HILL, S.C. (AP) — Jadeveon Clowney’s new coordinator at South Carolina was most impressed by what he didn’t hear from his signee as the two spoke Monday.
When Clowney called Ellis Johnson after picking South Carolina there was no self-important, look-at-me style comments like, “Did you watch?” or “I told you,” the Gamecocks defensive leader said.
“It was, ’Coach, I’m going to be ready,”’ Johnson said.
Clowney ended an extra 12 days of signing suspense when he picked the Gamecocks’ hat off a table that also had caps from finalists Alabama and Clemson. South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier had known for a while Clowney would take additional time before deciding. But it became even a bit more nerve-racking as the 6-foot-6, 250-pound senior waited for the go-ahead from ESPN, which carried his announcement live to a national audience.
When given the signal, Clowney spoke: “I’m going to the University of ...” he said, then reached for the Gamecocks’ cap to the cheers of friends, family, South Pointe High students and teammates.
Clowney’s choice capped a wild signing period. On Feb. 2, the first day players could sign a letter of intent — and when most did — a Georgia recruit announced his decision with the help of a bulldog puppy and another prospect’s mother faxed in a letter to the school she wanted her son to attend instead of his selection.