Steve Spurrier believes Jadeveon Clowney will never make it to his senior season at South Carolina. He won’t go after Penn State football players but will listen if he gets a phone call. And, he believes, South Carolina has a chance to have another special season.
Those are some of the subjects the Gamecocks head coach discussed Tuesday during an all-day appearance at ESPN’s Bristol, Conn., campus. Spurrier and the rest of the SEC’s 13 head coaches were put through the network’s "carwash" -- appearances on multiple platforms in a single day this week.
Along with appearing on SportsCenter and radio shows with Colin Cowherd and Ryen Russillo, Spurrier taped appearances on Dan LeBatard’s television show, GameDay Radio, College Football Live and the SEC "Storied" series. He also took questions via Twitter and online chat session Tuesday.
Spurrier’s most original comments revolved around Clowney, the sophomore defensive end who is a preseason All-SEC selection.
"I tell him all the time, ‘You know people are going to want to try to give you stuff. You can’t take it. You have to wait. You’re going to be here three years so you have to wait I know you are going to the NFL after that, we all understand that,’" Spurrier said.
Clowney was the nation’s No. 1 recruit two years ago and will be eligible for the NFL Draft after next season.
"Most of your guys you want to come and graduate, but he’s an exception, we all understand that," Spurrier said.
Spurrier mostly sidestepped questions about the scandal at Penn State, where vast NCAA sanctions have caused several players to consider transferring. He did acknowledge that South Carolina’s recruiting connections in New Jersey and Philadelphia could mean the Gamecocks will be getting calls from players looking to leave the Nittany Lions.
"I would think that we would wait in case one of their players called us," Spurrier said. "We would not just start recruiting those guys."
The NCAA is considering allowing schools who accept Penn State transfers to exceed the usual scholarship maximum of 85 in order to put that player on scholarship. However, schools that did that would have to forfeit a scholarship the following season.
"Obviously, a horrific set of circumstances happened," Spurrier said of the scandal.
Looking ahead to the 2012 season, the Gamecocks will focus on winning the school’s first SEC title and not concern themselves with the national title picture unless it is a possibility after the SEC title game, Spurrier said.
"Our goal is to win the SEC, and we think we may have assembled a team with players and coaches and support staff that is capable," he said. "We don’t know yet. We have to really play well. We have to play well, coach well if we’re going to have a chance, but we did go 11-2 so we must have some kind of chance."
Spurrier also touched on his habit of making headlines with one-liners in the offseason: "Sometimes in the summer your fans want to hear something. It can’t be serious all the time. Sometimes the other guy gets mad."
And how he handles criticizing players on the sideline when he knows television cameras are on him: "I won’t look them in the face, but I’ll look at the dirt and say, ‘You’re too good a player to do something that stupid. You’re going to lose us the game. Get your mind in the game, let’s go.’"