Spurrier would take Clowney No. 1

From Staff ReportsApril 24, 2014 

Jadeveon Clowney at USC's Thursday practice.

GERRY MELENDEZ — The State

If he were in charge of making the No. 1 selection in the NFL Draft, USC coach Steve Spurrier says he'd take Gamecocks defensive end Jadeveon Clowney.

"You have to," Spurrier said on the Dan Patrick radio show on Thursday. "If a quarterback like Andrew Luck was out there, you'd like to have him. But the quarterbacks this year, everybody has their favorites, but who knows who is going to be the best."

Spurrier defended Clowney against recent comments made by ESPN's Merril Hoge that Clowney was an "atrocious" player.

"Most players have to have a great junior or senior season and vault into the No. 1 position, but Jadeveon was No. 1 after his sophomore year. He didn't even have to play last year and he would still have been No. 1.

"So I think he did a good job of handling things and we did, too."

Asked if Clowney was a good player or just a good athlete, Spurrier told Patrick that Clowney was both.

"Pass rushing is what he does best," Spurrier said. "He can side-step people, or bull rush. He's like nobody else I have ever seen in college football."

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