It’s been a good week for South Carolina’s personnel.
On Monday, the Gamecocks welcomed back starting quarterback Stephen Garcia. On Tuesday, Rock Hill defensive end Jadeveon Clowney told The State he has qualified academically and will enroll in classes at the university in July.
“I really wasn’t worried about it because I knew I was going to qualify,” Clowney said.
Plenty of other people were worried, mostly South Carolina fans. Clowney was the consensus No. 1 high school player in the country. He was the first national No. 1 to sign with the Gamecocks and the first top-rated recruit ever to sign with a school without a national championship on its resume, according to head coach Steve Spurrier.
Clowney said Tuesday night that he hasn’t spoken to Spurrier since becoming a full qualifier but has talked to assistant head coach for defense Ellis Johnson.
“He was like, ‘Get ready to come in here in July and work hard,’ ” Clowney said.
Clowney previously said he expects to be an immediate starter in college, but he took a more measured approach Tuesday.
“I’m just ready to play,” he said. “I’m not going to say too much. I don’t know how it’s going to be.”
The addition of Clowney will only add to the expectations for South Carolina, which already was the favorite to win the SEC’s Eastern Division.
Clowney needed minimum grades in three classes during his final semester at South Pointe High School in order to qualify, he said, and he received two Bs and a C. He finished his high school course work last week, and his final grade point average combined with his ACT score are good enough to qualify, he said.
Clowney, who delayed his collegiate announcement almost two weeks past national signing day, had 162 tackles and 29.5 sacks in 2010.
Feb. 14 video: Clowney picks the Gamecocks