May 7, 2014

Clowney, top prospects dive into NFL draft festivities

For Jadeveon Clowney and the rest of the NFL draft prospects in New York City, the festivities begin today.

It’s one more day before we’ll know if Jadeveon Clowney is going to be the first South Carolina player taken No. 1 in the NFL Draft since George Rogers in 1981, but for Clowney and the rest of the draft prospects here, the festivities begin today.

But more on that later. First, a story from NFL.com analyst Charles Davis. The subject is the one Clowney never could outrun through this draft evaluation process – work ethic.

“How many times have you heard this: ‘Man if I was that talented’?,” Davis asked.

To that, Davis has a response, which he credits to his former broadcasting partner and former Colorado quarterback Joel Klatt.

“Joel said, ‘Do you remember when we were kids? There was always that alpha athlete, no matter where you were, there was a guy you said, ‘Look at him.’ He said, ‘I would guess Jadeveon has always been that guy.’ Jadeveon’s family probably had to laminate his birth certificate because everybody wanted to see it before played.

“Klatt said, ‘Have you ever played with that guy and he’s been the hardest working guy that you know?’ You talk about rare exceptions, so rare I can’t even name one. Coaches spent all this time telling them, ‘You have to do this and this and this or this is going to happen to you,’ and then they go out there and they beat down the guys who worked harder than they did. And then the coach is like, ‘OK’ and the kid is like, ‘OK got it coach, let me know when you have someone who can stack up against me.’

“The great ones, as they continue on and that gap lessens, they become better workers, but let’s be frank, those guys have never been the glass eaters. They are not the first in the weight room, last one out guys because they were better than we were. Jadeveon is in that category there is no doubt about it. He’s better than we are. Get over it. That’s just how it is.”

Clowney is among the elite even among the group of 30 NFL Draft prospects who are here and participating in an NFL Play60 event at Chelsea Waterside Park this morning.

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