Clowney, Easley picks will help UF with DL recruits

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Brad Lawing at South Carolina coaching Jadeveon Clowney, who was the first pick in the 2014 NFL Draft. (Photo by The Post and Courier)

Byron Cowart and CeCe Jefferson have been put on notice.

The five-star in-state prospects are Florida’s top targets at defensive end, one of the biggest positional priorities for UF in the 2015 recruiting cycle.

The first-round selections of Jadeveon Clowney and Dominique Easley, both former players of defensive line coach Brad Lawing, will help the Gators in their recruitment of Cowart and Jefferson as well as other defensive linemen.

Florida was the early leader for both Cowart and Jefferson. Cowart now lists Oregon as his No. 1 school, while Jefferson isn’t naming favorites.

However, Jefferson has visited UF four times in the past two months, with his mother meeting Lawing on his most recent trip. The Gators are a close second behind the Ducks for Cowart thanks to the 25-year coaching veteran.

“Florida is still up there big time,” Cowart said. “Brad Lawing just stands out to me. He’s a great coach and knows how to get me to the next level.”

Clowney, who mentioned Lawing in his post-draft comments after being taken first overall by the Houston Texans, credited his former coach at South Carolina back in February for motivating him as a player.

“He was on me so hard my first two years before he left,” Clowney told NFL.com. So hard, I would say ‘Coach, why are you always on me so hard?’ He’d say ‘I get on guys that (aren’t) doing anything. Do you want to be great?’ I’d say ‘You know I want to be great.’ He’d say, ‘Well I’m here to help you be great, but I’ve got to push you.’ ”

“When he left, going into that next (junior) season, I was like, ‘Well, coach Lawing is gone, I’ve got nobody to push me now.’ So I pushed myself to be great, I had to learn to push myself for the first time. When he was there, I hated him for it, but when he left, I missed it. And I appreciate every bit of it.”

Easley was selected by the New England Patriots with the 29th pick, and he also spoke highly of Lawing during his draft process.

“He made me understand the defense and pass-rush schemes. I consider him to be a genius in pass-rush schemes,” Easley told GatorCountry.com. “It helped me out a lot, being coached by him. …┬áHe took me to another level. As I grew in maturity, he helped me grow more on the football field.”

30 COMMENTS

  1. All of our top targets want stability on the coaching staff, we have to win games to make that happen….Get Up and GO GATORS!!
    IMO by October we will have a good idea if we are going to keep this staff or need to clean house, and the recurits will know too.
    Personally I hope we can break into the 4 team playoff this year. If we do that or at least come close to it we should land another top 5 class easily.
    Can’t wait for August, GO GATORS!!!

  2. I hope we can get both defensive ends. Hopefully if they see how successful Clowney and Easley were maybe they can picture themselves being that successful too, but I do agree we must have a good season this year otherwise we could miss out and hopefully that doesn’t happen. Go Gators!!!!

  3. That_UAT_Guy,
    Your comments have nothing to do with the story and you’re attacking another poster. If you can’t stay on topic and stop calling people stupid, idiot, etc., I’ll just keep deleting your posts. That goes for anyone. I’ve made this clear countless times.

  4. If UF turns it around on the field, I don’t see how there can be any worry about recruiting. After all, according to the recruiting gurus, UF has done as well as anyone not named Alabama in that area. As Auburn showed, a drastic turnaround is possible. If UF can have someone show up and be as good as Nick Marshall, it can happen, I just wouldn’t put UF in Atlanta yet.

  5. We really need both of those guys, with the losses we are facing, at the position. I have been supportive of the current staff for many reasons; most notably, if we have a bad year and have to bring in a new staff, it will set us back, once again. I truly believe, however, that we have the right ingredients and mindset, for a great year.

  6. I’m cool with that Zach, just make sure it’s the same across the board because I’ve seen worse on here and you shouldn’t just focus on one guy. I discuss the articles given and give my opinion. I just don’t take kindly to people attacking our players or trying to feel better about themselves by trying to make me look stupid.

  7. on the flip side what does roberson and purifoy outcome look like in terms of the advice they may have been given. did the 40 yard dash really hurt them that much? Purifoy was beaten all year but Mel Kiper kept saying he was number one cornerback. one of the most bizarre drafts for these two players

  8. steve, we’ve watched Roberson and Purifoy play and they did a lot of grabbing and holding on receivers. Most of he time they got away with it, they didn’t draw as many flags as they warranted. They can’t get away with that in the NFL. The game has changed and defensive backs can no longer mug receivers like Mel Blount and others did. I’m sure that is the first thing scouts saw when they watched the tape on them. Now Hargreaves is a different story, he actually covers someone without constantly interfering. Hargraves is not as good as the hype right now, he was regularly beaten as well last year. But he has all the tools to become a great cornerback and we should see him improve this year.

  9. If Brad Lawing was a genius at anything then he would be coaching in the NFL. Plain and Simple. Oregon’s D-line coach just came from the NFL. These boys need to get out west and see what good livin is all about

  10. I hope Roberson’s and Purifoy’s situation shows players how off “Draft Gurus” are sometimes. I will never fault a guy for leaving early if he expects to go in the 1st or 2nd round — but draft gurus should NOT be your source of advice.

  11. Ntcrze – I remember VH3 being beat a FEW times but regularly?

    Go Ducks – According to your logic, since your guy is coming from the NFL to college he must not be all that good? Heck Saban, Jim Mora, and Spurrier must suck too. I’m thinking Lawing’s multiple 1st rounders speak for themselves =).

    Anyways.. hope your Ducks get into the playoffs so they finally have their shot. The country’s been waiting long enough.

  12. Well as I understand it (which I could be wrong) was Purifoy and Roberson fell more due to their off the field issues throwing up red flags. The poor 40 times probably just were the last straw. I feel for these 2 though. Yo can say they’re stupid or talk trash about them all you want, but they’re still 2 Gators who just had a terrible and embarrassing encounter. They declared for the draft expecting to go in the 2nd round at the very latest and they didn’t even get get drafted. I feel for them.

  13. Roberson just isnt that good. There was a person or two on here that had a really creepy infatuation with him but he isnt that good. I tried to tell some people that but at least one person went totally insane and ranted for weeks because something negative was said about Roberson.

  14. ntcrze

    Be careful. There area some delusional sports “fans” out there who get very offended if you say something negative about Roberson. They act like Roberson is their hero or something. Its actually really pathetic and sad. But you are right. Purifoy holds too much and Roberson is flat out not very good.

  15. Anyone who ever thought that Roberson was a legitimate 1st round pick doesnt know too much about football. You would have to be a starry eyed youth with a “Beiber Fever” like perception of Roberson to ever think he was a legit 1st rounder. He was routinely beaten and had more defensive holding and pass interference penalties than big plays while he was here.

  16. To go along with what J said, Go Ducks remind me what happened the last time Oregon played an SEC team? Remind me what happened last time Oregon played in the National Championship game. At least we don’t choke every year! Go Gators!

  17. Just read that Nolan Kelleher had surgery and will be redshirted….another broken toy. Didn’t we sign a handful of these ‘broken’ recruits last year as well? The propensity for injury should be a part of the evaluation process. Even if a guy has a great highlight tape, it doesn’t make sense to me to bring an 18 y/o kid on campus with knee, shoulder, or back issues before he’s faced any ‘live-rounds’ on the field of battle.

  18. Good in college does not equal good in the nfl and vice-versa. They’re different skill sets. Lawing is excellent at what he does. I’m hoping he can get Brantley and Bostwick to turn it up this season.