Spurrier: Richt's Clowney comments 'a little strong'

jkendall@thestate.comJuly 31, 2013 

Jadeveon Clowney

ANNE MCQUARY — www.heybabysmile.com

Steve Spurrier is a big fan of South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney. Just not quite as big a fan as Georgia coach Mark Richt may be.

On Monday night, Richt called Clowney the “very best player who exists today, at any level.” The comment made plenty of headlines, and Spurrier was asked about it Wednesday during an appearance on the Jim Rome Show.

“That was a little strong right there,” Spurrier said. “Obviously, Jadeveon is probably the best defensive lineman in college football. I think everyone agrees with that, but when you start putting the linemen in there with quarterbacks and receivers and running backs… I don’t know what he was trying to say, but if he’s trying to sort of fatten up Jadeveon’s thinking I hope it doesn’t work. Jadeveon has had a lot of praise, a lot of attention the entire offseason. I think he’s handled it pretty well.”

The school will not launch an aggressive Heisman campaign for Clowney, Spurrier said.

“We are not going to really push it,” he said. “We are going to let him earn his way naturally.”

As for any concern that Clowney will be offered improper benefits prior to the end of this season that could jeopardize his eligibility, Spurrier said he and his staff have preached patience to the junior since he arrived on campus in 2011.

“You have to be a student-athlete through the bowl game your third year. When that bowl game is over you become a pro athlete,” Spurrier said he told Clowney. “Then you can start accepting all the money everybody wants to give you. Until then, you have to be a student-athlete like all your teammates.”

As for the furor surrounding Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel, Spurrier said the part of the story that caught his attention was the fact that Manziel took all online classes one semester last year.

“It’s sort of surprising that all of his teammates were going to class and he wasn’t going to class,” Spurrier said. “He was doing it all online. That was a little unusual right there. No, I would not be in favor of that. Do what everybody else does. Just handle it.”

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