The nation's top defensive end may also be the most intimidating tailback in the country.
South Pointe standout Jadeveon Clowney, widely considered the No. 1 prospect in the nation, has started playing a much bigger role on offense for the Stallions, who are 7-1 and ranked No. 1 in Class AAA.
Needing a similar offensive boost to what Clowney gives South Pointe on defense, coach Bobby Carroll decided several weeks ago to begin lining him up at tailback in the team's flexbone offense.
Clowney carried eight times for 61 yards and scored on a 19-yard run in last Friday's 17-7 win over Fairfield-Central. He scored on a 98-yard run several weeks ago against Nation Ford.
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It's giving Clowney a chance to return to his roots. He rushed for 37 touchdowns as a tailback on South Pointe's freshman team, but eventually he grew out of the position and moved to defensive end.
"We've had some injuries to our B-backs, and he's just such a strong runner," Carroll said. "He's just so powerful. You have to put the ball in his hands. I'll be honest with you. After 28 years of coaching high school football, I don't know if there is a position on that field he can't play, including quarterback. He's got all the numbers — speed-wise and flexibility-wise — as any of the skill players."
The Stallions have used Clowney as a tailback, wingback, tight end and receiver this season. Of course, he's still wreaking havoc at defensive end, the position he's most likely to play in college. He has the prototypical build and athleticism of a blue-chip end.
However, Carroll and Co. ultimately decided they couldn't leave him on the bench for half of the game. The rigors are taking a toll.
"He stays banged up," Carroll said. "He's got sore hips and ankles. He's just so darn big ... when you hit somebody hard, it hurts you, too. He's just such a ferocious hitter."