Nation’s No. 1 recruit might visit UF

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Jadeveon Clowney is shy about being ranked No. 1. (Melissa Cherry/Rock Hill Herald photo)

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — New Florida coach Will Muschamp has gotten the attention of the nation’s No. 1 player.

Rock Hill, S.C., South Pointe defensive end Jadeveon Clowney said Monday that he could visit Florida this month before he makes his National Signing Day decision.

Clowney hasn’t listed Florida as one of his favorite schools, but said after speaking with Muschamp his interest in Florida has increased.

“(Muschamp) called me right after he got the (Florida) job,” Clowney said.

Clowney said he likes Muschamp for the simple fact that he’s a defensive coach.

Still, Florida’s chances seem very slim to land the nation’s best player. He didn’t generate much interest until now, and even though Clowney’s interest increased because of Muschamp, it will be a battle to just get him on campus, considering he will visit Alabama and Florida State this month and could see Clemson and LSU. He’s already visited South Carolina.

Clowney has been absolutely dominating the Under Armour practices. He’s just too big and fast for anyone to consistently contain. The only lineman who was man enough to stop Clowney was Beltsville, Md., DeMatha Catholic tackle Cyrus Koundjio, who finally pancaked Clowney Monday when he knocked him out of the air during practice.

Regardless, Clowney has been the best and most consistent player at the ESPN Wide World of Sports complex.

“I’m trying my best to get past people as best as I could,” he said. “I go at you, so you’re supposed to go at me.”

As the No. 1 player in the country he’s drawing some pretty impressive comparisons. The most common is to former No. 1 Ronald Powell. With a similar build, the two look almost identical on the field. However, Clowney appears to have a quicker first step.

While he’s honored to be compared to Powell, Clowney said he doesn’t care for comparisons and just tries to play his own game.

One thing that makes him so dominant is the speed he possess at 6-foot-6, 240 pounds. It almost looks as if he gets to the quarterback before he has time to finish his three-step drop. What helped him were the continuous speed drills he endured during the offseason since his junior year and basketball. He plays for fun, but says he improves his footwork and agility when he’s not dunking on innocent bystanders.

For three days, Clowney’s speed has frustrated the opposing linemen he’s humbled.

“I got one of the quickest takeoffs around,” he said. “It helps me get past guards and tackles very easily. They can’t touch me most of the time.”

Clowney isn’t perfect, though. He said his biggest issue is turning and opening his shoulders. His Click-Clack (Red team) coaches have been trying to improve that, and he welcomes the help.

“I’m going to get better with it,” Clowney said. “I like it when people tell me what I need to fix, so I can go back and fix it. Let them critique me as I go and help my game out.”

While he’s got the nation’s best game, Clowney shies away from the hype. He doesn’t like being called the country’s best player and tries to keep people from mentioning it when he’s around.

When he first found out about his ranking, he was excited but knew there would be a lot of unwanted attention.

“I was happy but I was like, ‘There’s going to be a lot with this,’ ” he said.

Another dominating performance this week will only increase all that attention and inflate the hype.

36 COMMENTS

  1. Edward —
    I understand him visiting the two S.Car. schools, him being from S.Car. (even though SOS is Offensive minded), and Alabama because Saban is Defensive minded, but what about Les Miles and Jimbo Fisher?; they’re Offensive minds, aren’t they??
    Why, then, would Clowney skip UF? Since he’s visiting Tallahassee, it can’t be that he’s biased against the state of Florida. Plus, Urban himself was Defensive oriented (Special Teams).
    Did he not like Meyer or his coaching staff?
    I don’t get it.
    Any insight on this, ED?
    ————
    IGTBAG!
    Ciaomp
    (1:05pm, ET)

  2. This is certainly a big news, no matter what his final decision is. Jadeveon Clowney and Tony Steward are the two best defensive prospects in this class. Clowney’s first step is so quick as if he is the person who controls the ball snap.

  3. Clowney made the comment that he did not want to play on the same team as Powell. For some reason he has a problem with Powell. However I talk to Clowney now and then since I live in Rock Hill, SC. He has warmed up to the fact that Meyer is gone and Muschamp is in so we might have a shot at him. I try to tell him it makes no sense to visit fsu when they already have DEs committed to them and they have another high profile DE for next year committed to them. The house is full at fsu cinnamon rolls. If WM can convince him to drop fsu then he may come look at us. Go Gators

  4. This news is the same as receiving a letter from Publishers Clearing House saying “you may have won a million dollars”. It is something to get you excited when you have a snowballs chance in he!! of winning. He will not visit and he will not sign with Florida. Just being logical!

  5. Yeah, no way Clowney goes with FL. Too late in the game. Though it would be awesome to have him, it’s no happening. Let’s get Stephone Anthony, Curtis Grant in here. Both are BEASTS! Maybe that will help sway Tony Steward too. Go Gators!

  6. To Gator in South Carolina: Be careful. I would worry that encouraging a H.S. player to pick the Gators or avoid FSU would be an infraction – partiularly if you are an alum. Maybe I’m wrong,but I’ve always been careful when I’ve been in those situations. i remember the 1980’s too well.

  7. So why is he coming…… or why would he show interest now…. I think he understand that Florida is on to something with this staff WM is putting together…. I mean before, he did not even mention UF as a possible, but not he is having a change of mind…..I think it is very likely, that we get a visit, and if so, I think it is possible he signs…. I mean.. its not like he wants to come to UF on a visit to see the facilitieis… he already knows its top knotch… so that should explain everything right there….. he knows if he chooses anyone other than UF…. it would be a misstake…. and a misstake he would have to live with for the rest of his life….

  8. For those of you who say it is too late for him to change his mind, you have a short memory. Look only to 2 years ago: Greg Reid was a Gator commit since his junior year of HS, yet decided to go to the school out west well after all the all-star games ended. It is not to late. Go Gators!

  9. I laugh when I see people get excited about what these recruits say as if it means anything. These guys will say anything and you cannot apply logic to anything because they haven’t. Clowney mentions the value of a defensive minded coach and then most likely he will commit to an offensive coach. Remember they are 18 years old and they are the center of attention which results in nothing but “recruit speak”.

  10. There’s a lot of “mind changing” to be done, it’s early yet. Who knows where he will go. If we’re in the conversation at least we have a chance. If not, then I’m confident this coaching staff will get someone that none of us are anticipating. This is one of the reasons everyone loves this time of year, it’s like the box of choclates Forrest spoke of….you never know what you’re going to get.

  11. Hey guys to the two who asked me to comment back. No I am not affiliated with UF. So im not worried about backlash im just a fan. I love the GatorNation too much to do something stupid. Clowney did not like something about Meyer but he never said what it was. Im friends with Stephon Gilmore and he said the same thing that it was more about Powell being here than Meyer. Aparently he is not comfortable with competing with another high profile DE. So to me it dont make sense for him to visit the cinnamin rolls out west. As far as talking to Clowney on a regular basis im not able to do that since I no longer go to school with him since I graduated already. Go Gators

  12. MrBIOlife….Did u read the article first??? It said Coach called him as soon as he was hired. That is the reason for interest NOW. And why would he know any of the Defensive hires, they are from everywhere but South Carolina???????????

  13. I think everyone has danced around the question…why until now is UF even on the radar for the top recruit in the nation? Where were we? Were we asleep at the wheel? Were there personality issues? Come on, UF, a school where 2 national championships were won in the past 5 years, and we’re just now getting lip service from the top recruit in the nation? What’s the real story here? Why have we not even been in play for this recruit? Did someone decide we didn’t need him? Did we never even talk to him, or if we did, did we say or do something to offend him? A lot of questions, very few answers.

  14. Most of the recruits that want to visit a school, come for a party time and all the snatch they can get, then leave and return to the school they already had their mind of going to. Costine the visitng school a heap of money just for their enjoyment. Their mind is already made up, they only want to go “visit” a team to check out the poon tang and have a good time

  15. yeah # recruit, can’t miss,unbelievable.Heard that last few years.Think we went 8 & 5 this past season with alll these great recruits. Ole ball caoch is right.Bring ’em in, we’ll coach ’em up.Last year Florida staff coached them down.Believe my eyes, not what I read.

  16. Steve- You said the same thing about Stephone Anthony in the other article about having to many linebackers. Get a clue. We do need game changers like this. Every team does. Obviously we do need d-lineman because we had absolutely no pass rush from the front 4 this year besides maybe floyd at times. No matter what happens let just trust the coaching staff that they will get the job done. Go Gators!!

  17. @GatorSteve,

    I don’t think GatorSteve is a true gator. We need both Linemen and LB’s and GatorSteve is telling the best LB’s and Linemen to play elsewhere. Get off this site GatorSteve, only true gators should post here! Go gators! Clowney….it would be awesome to have ya!

  18. losing Pagan, Ryan, and Nick hurt us deeply in this class. This would go a long way with helping fix that loss. Powell, C.Martin, D.Easly, Clowney would make for a nice rotation. An Chickillalo would make us done for next year.

  19. After losing Pagan, Ryan, and Nick hurt us deeply in this class. This would go a long way with helping fix that loss. Powell, C.Martin, D.Easly, Clowney would make for a nice rotation. An Chickillalo would make us done for next year.

  20. Chickillo, would be the next Great Gator Blue Collar Over Achiever. What a motor! No wonder Coach MusChamp has made him his First Priority! Blue Collar Workers, Over Achievers, Non Stop Motors thats what Gator Nation Needs!
    If by chance Mr. Clowney finds his way to Gatorville, GREAT!
    He could fit this DESCRIPTION VERY NICELY!

  21. Does anyone have an updated status on Clowney since the UA Game wednesday? This guy was dominant yet raw. Saw him blast into the backfield too many times while the running back went between him and the offensive tackle to get a big gain around the end.