Prior to the 2013 college football season, just about everyone had South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney penciled in as the top pick in the 2014 NFL Draft. There were rumors about him signing with Roc Nation Sports flying around, and it was widely believed that whoever finished with the worst record in the NFL this season (hellooooooo, Jaguars!) would take him No. 1 overall in the draft. But now, we're not so sure where he's going to land.
So far this season, Clowney has had a number of games where he has made very little impact. He also sat out a game against Kentucky a few weeks ago with a mysterious injury, which led many people to question his commitment to South Carolina. And recently, Clowney did an interview with the New York Times in which he admitted that he didn't practice all that hard last season.
"My practice habits have picked up way more than they did last year," he said. "Last year, I really didn't practice real hard. This year, I came in with a different mind-set, like I want to be that guy, I want to have no flaws in my game."
That second part should be comforting for South Carolina fans. But the fact that Clowney essentially just admitted that he didn't practice hard last year is not going to sit well with NFL scouts or NFL teams. And it's not going to help his draft stock next spring. He may still end up going No. 1 but not without a ton of questions surrounding his work ethic. We're sure you'll hear a lot about it as we inch closer to the end of the college football season.