Spurrier says Clowney receiving Heisman could be tough

Published: Thursday, May 30, 2013 at 7:48 p.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, May 30, 2013 at 7:48 p.m.

South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier said Thursday he thinks it would be “very difficult” for star junior defensive end Jadeveon Clowney to win the Heisman Trophy.

The award for college football's best player has been traditionally given to an offensive player since its inception, though Michigan's Charles Woodson broke the mold by winning the Heisman as a three-way player (cornerback, wide receiver, kick returner) in 1997.

The 6-foot-6, 256-pound Clowney has already been projected as the No. 1 overall pick of the 2014 NFL draft due to his pass-rushing ability. As a sophomore, Clowney had 13 sacks, including 4.5 against rival Clemson.

“It would be very difficult,” Spurrier said before his “Great Floridian” ceremony at Florida Field. “He'd have to cause a lot more fumbles and maybe pick one up and score, or something like that.”

Spurrier knows a thing or two about Heisman Trophy campaigns. He was part of the first one in 1966, winning the award following an aggressive pitch from UF's sports information department. But Spurrier said he doesn't expect mass promotion for Clowney next season.

“We don't really try to promote our guys too much,” Spurrier said. “If they have a big year, they'll naturally get all the attention and all the publicity worldwide now. We try to encourage our entire team to earn team goals, trying to win our division, win the SEC, bowl games and things of that nature. But Jadeveon he could have a chance, again some of those big plays, pick up a fumble and score, intercept a pass, something like that.”

During the ceremony, Spurrier also had a chance to briefly chat with Florida coach Will Muschamp, who attended the event. The former Gator coach is 1-1 against Muschamp.

“I hope we're good friends,” Spurrier said. “I admire everything he's done so far here. I know they had a tough one there that last game (a 33-23 Sugar Bowl loss against Louisville), but sometimes when a young team has a lot of success and you get that month off, sometimes something happens and you don't play very well.

“It happened to us the first year we won the SEC in '91 and in the Sugar Bowl game (a 39-28 loss to Notre Dame) we didn't play very well. But sometimes that's good for you in the long run. Next time you're there, you'll handle it maybe a little better. The entire team will.”

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