Clowney on the sideline during a game in 2012 against East Carolina.
No. 90 Houston Texans
|Date of birth:February 14, 1993|
|Place of birth: Rock Hill, South Carolina|
|High school: Rock Hill (SC) South Pointe|
|College: South Carolina|
|NFL Draft: 2014 / Round: 1 / Pick: 1|
|Debuted in 2014 for the Houston Texans|
|Roster status: Injured reserve|
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics as of 2014
Jadeveon Clowney (pronounced jə-DEH-vee-on CLOW-nee; born February 14, 1993) is an American football outside linebacker for the Houston Texans of the National Football League (NFL). He graduated from South Pointe High School in Rock Hill, South Carolina and played college football at the University of South Carolina. A unanimous College All-American as a sophomore in 2012, Clowney set South Carolina school records in quarterback sacks (13.0) and tackles for a loss (23.5) per season while also earning Defensive Player of the Year honors in the Southeastern Conference. Described by ESPN as "one of those rare game-changers on defense", Clowney was drafted first overall by the Texans.
High school career
A native of Rock Hill, South Carolina, Clowney attended South Pointe High School, where he played for the South Pointe Stallions high school football team. Already 6-3 and 200 lbs as a freshman in 2007, he played running back and defensive end for the school's junior varsity team. For his sophomore year he joined rising seniors Stephon Gilmore and DeVonte Holloman (both four-star recruits) on a South Pointe varsity that came off a 9–4 season. By spring practice, Clowney became a permanent fixture at defensive end. "We knew we had something special. He was 13 years old in that big athletic body. He was wreaking havoc on our offense that spring and fall," said Bobby Carroll, his coach at South Pointe. South Pointe went 15–0 for the season, including a 35–14 win over town-rival Northwestern High at Memorial Stadium, Clemson, for the 2008 South Carolina AAAA Division II title and a No. 3 spot in the annual MaxPreps high school ranking. Despite playing nearly the entire season with a bone spur in his foot, Clowney finished with 17 sacks. He opted to have surgery on the bone spur in January 2009.
South Pointe had 31 seniors graduate after the 2008 season, including Gilmore and Holloman. Still, Clowney helped the team to a 10–4 record for the season, and a state semifinal berth, where the Stallions lost to Northwestern. Clowney finished the season with 144 tackles and 23 sacks. For his senior season, Clowney tallied 162 tackles, 29.5 sacks, 29 tackles for loss, 11 forced fumbles and six fumble recoveries, and scored five touchdowns on defense while leading his team to a 13–2 record. South Pointe made the state finals for the second time in three years, but lost 23–27 to Myrtle Beach at USC's Williams-Brice Stadium. Still, Clowney was named South Carolina's 2010 Mr. Football. South Pointe was 38–6 during his three varsity seasons.
Immediately following his senior season, Clowney went to Spartanburg for the Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas, where he registered 5 tackles (2 solo, 3 assists), 3 sacks for a loss of 15 yards, 2 tackles for a loss of 17 yards and 2 quarterback hurries. Clowney was lined up against the North Carolina left tackle on every snap he played and drew five holding calls. After the Shrine Bowl, Clowney headed to Orlando, Florida, for a week of Under Armour All-America Game practices and then the all-star game itself. He was the leading tackler for the Red with seven and had 1.5 sacks. Recruiting analysts were particularly interested in his matchup with Cyrus Kouandjio.
During his high school career, Clowney was often regarded as the best player in his class. ESPN described him as "a special talent who could have vied for the top spot in several previous classes." Both major recruiting services, Rivals.com and Scout.com, as well as ESPNU, considered Clowney not only a five-star recruit, but also the No. 1 overall prospect of the 2011 class, basically throughout his senior year. Unsurprisingly, he received scholarship offers from nearly every perennial BCS powerhouse. However, Clowney left his decision open until after National Signing Day of 2011.
In a live broadcast on ESPN on his eighteenth birthday—February 14, 2011—Clowney announced his commitment to South Carolina, selecting the Gamecocks over Clemson, Alabama, Louisiana State, and Florida State. He was the third-straight South Carolina "Mr. Football" to sign with the Gamecocks, following in the footsteps of his South Pointe teammate Gilmore, and Duncan Byrnes' Marcus Lattimore. "I wanted to play in the SEC. It was easy," Clowney said. "I knew a week ago. I just tried not to tell anybody." Just days earlier, a story in the New York Times questioned Clowney's academic eligibility, but Clowney told reporters he had "no concerns and would be fine".
|Name||Hometown||High school / college||Height||Weight||40‡||Commit date|
|Rock Hill, SC||South Pointe (SC)||6 ft 6 in (1.98 m)||240 lb (110 kg)||4.6||Feb 14, 2011|
|Scout: Rivals: 247Sports: N/A ESPN grade: 95|
|Overall recruiting rankings: Scout: 1 (DE) Rivals: 1 (DE), 1 (SC) ESPN: 1 (DE)|
Clowney was also on the school's track & field team, where he competed as a sprinter, shot putter and discus thrower. He took ninth in the 100 meters at the 2011 York County Championships, with a career-best time of 11.43 seconds. He recorded a personal-best throw of 14.82 meters in the shot put at the 2011 State Championships, and also ran the fourth leg on the 4 x 100 meter relay squad, helping them earn a third-place finish at 42.86 seconds.
Clowney attended the University of South Carolina where he played on the South Carolina Gamecocks football team from 2011 through 2013.
As a true freshman at South Carolina, Clowney played in all 12 games of the season. He started the season opener against East Carolina, becoming the first freshman to start on the defensive line since Travian Robertson in 2007. In his debut, Clowney had seven tackles, a pass breakup and a QB hurry. A week later in the SEC season opener against Georgia, Clowney recorded his first career quarterback sack in the second quarter, tackling Bulldogs quarterback Aaron Murray for a 7-yard loss. With just over three minutes remaining and USC clinging to a 38–35 lead, Clowney sacked Murray at the 10-yard line, causing him to fumble. Fellow defensive lineman Melvin Ingram recovered the football and returned it for a touchdown to put South Carolina up by 10. Against Vanderbilt, Clowney forced two fumbles, including one that again was recovered by Ingram and returned for a touchdown. In mid-October against Mississippi State, Clowney picked up a sack, forced fumble, and two quarterback hurries. In South Carolina's 30–13 win over Nebraska in the Capital One Bowl, Clowney recorded four tackles and two sacks of quarterback Taylor Martinez.
For the season, Clowney was credited with 36 tackles, including 12 for a loss of yardage. He ranked eighth in the SEC with 8.0 sacks, the only freshman in the top 10, and logged five forced fumbles. He earned SEC Freshman of the Year and All-SEC 2nd Team honors from the league's coaches, and was also named to multiple Freshman All-American 1st Team lists, including The Sporting News, FWAA, Rivals.com, and CBSSports.com.
In his sophomore season, Clowney emerged as the best defensive player in college football. While helping South Carolina to an 11–2 (6–2 SEC) record, he set the school single-season record for sacks (13.0) and tackles for loss (23.5). He also amassed 54 tackles (40 solo) and 3 forced fumbles. Against Alabama–Birmingham, Clowney was credited with seven tackles with 3.5 tackles for loss and 2.0 sacks, for which he was named the SEC Defensive Lineman of the Week. In the 27–17 win over Clemson, he sacked Tigers quarterback Tajh Boyd for a single-game school record 4.5 times, earning SEC Defensive Player and Defensive Lineman of the Week honors again. It was also a Clemson Memorial Stadium record, topping the previous mark jointly held by Notre Dame's Ross Browner (1977) and Virginia Tech's Bruce Smith (1984), both College Football Hall of Famers. Along with being a Unanimous All-American, Clowney won the Ted Hendricks Award as the nation's best defensive end. Additionally, he was a finalist for the Chuck Bednarik Award, the Bronko Nagurski Trophy, the Lombardi Award, and finished 6th overall in the 2012 Heisman Trophy voting. Following Clowney's incredible sophomore season, he was voted by the fans as the 2012 AT&T All-America Player of the Year on January 7.
In the Outback Bowl on January 1, 2013, Clowney helped the Gamecocks to a 33–28 victory over the Michigan Wolverines. He gained instant fame for a hit on Michigan running back Vincent Smith that came with 8 minutes left in the fourth quarter, after a controversial call in Michigan's favor. The hit forced a fumble that Clowney himself recovered, which then set up a touchdown on the next play. On July 17, 2013, Clowney won the 2013 ESPY Award for best play for that hit.
Following much off-season hype, Clowney began his junior season as a frontrunner for the Heisman Trophy. In the season-opener against North Carolina, weakened by gastroenteritis, appeared “tired” and only registered three tackles. After a slow start into the season, while being plagued by minor injuries, Clowney's Heisman chances began to fade. His decision to sit out the Kentucky game with a muscle strain near his rib area caused media controversy. In a much anticipated rematch with Tennessee offensive tackle Antonio Richardson, Clowney recorded a season-high five tackles, including four solo, in an overall performance that was widely praised. He sat out another game, against Coastal Carolina, ailing with bone spurs in his right foot on November 23.
Clowney finished his junior season with 35 tackles, 10.5 for a loss of yardage, and three quarterback sacks—considerably lower in each category compared to his sophomore year. Nonetheless, he was again a first-team All-Southeastern Conference (SEC) selection. However, after receiving unanimous All-American honors in 2012, Clowney was only selected to one 2013 All-America team—by the American Football Coaches Association.
2014 NFL Draft
As early as January 2013, Clowney was projected as a top-3 selection in the 2014 NFL Draft. "Clowney's a rare talent, basically to the defensive end spot what Andrew Luck and RG3 were to the quarterback position," said ESPN analyst Mel Kiper, Jr. "These type of prospects just don't come along very often." NFL media analyst Bucky Brooks described Clowney as a “meaner, nastier version of Julius Peppers.” Clowney's injuries, as well as his mediocre performance early in his junior season reportedly do not scare NFL executives. Late September 2013 mock drafts still ranked Clowney among the top-2 picks. After the college season concluded, Clowney was projected No. 4 by Sports Illustrated. In a postgame interview after the Capital One Bowl, Clowney confirmed he was going to enter the 2014 NFL Draft.
At the NFL Combine in February 2014, Clowney excelled in the 40-yard dash, posting an official time of 4.53 seconds, the fastest among defensive linemen, which caused USA Today calling him "by far the most freakish physical specimen in this draft."
|Ht||Wt||Arm length||Hand size||40-yd dash||10-yd split||20-yd split||20-ss||3-cone||Vert||Broad||BP|
|6 ft 5¼ in||266 lb||34½ in||10 in||4.53 s||1.56 s||4.43 s||7.27 s||37½ in||10 ft 4 in||21 reps|
|All values from NFL Combine|
Houston Texans (2014–present)
Clowney was selected as the number one overall pick by the Houston Texans in the 2014 NFL Draft. Clowney joins David Carr and Mario Williams as the third player selected first overall by the Texans. He was also the first defensive player selected No. 1 overall since Williams. On June 6, 2014, Clowney signed a 4-year deal worth $22.272 million that featured a $14.518 million signing bonus.
2014: Rookie year
Clowney made his professional debut on August 9, 2014 during the first preseason game against the Arizona Cardinals, where he made a tackle for a loss of 5 yards. During preseason game 2 against the Atlanta Falcons, Clowney recorded his first professional sack where he sacked Matt Ryan. Before preseason game 3 against the Denver Broncos, Clowney began to experience concussion-like symptoms after a helmet-to-helmet collision with tight end Jacob Tamme during dual practice and did not play for the rest of the preseason.
Clowney played his first regular season game on September 7 against the Washington Redskins, making one tackle for a loss but left the game in the 2nd quarter due to a knee injury. It was later revealed that Clowney had a torn meniscus. He underwent surgery to repair the meniscus on September 8, and recovery time required 4 to 6 weeks. Clowney was placed on injured reserve to undergo further surgery on his knee on December 4, ending his rookie season with 7 tackles in 4 games.
Clowney's mother, Josenna Clowney, has been a processing technician at the Frito-Lay plant in Charlotte, North Carolina, since 1994. His father, David Morgan, was released from prison in 2006 after serving nearly 12 years for robbing a Rock Hill check-cashing business in 1995. With his father incarcerated for much of his childhood, Clowney was raised by his mother and his maternal grandparents, John and Josephine Clowney, as well as his mother’s longtime boyfriend, Christopher Jones.
- Gamecock Spotlight: Jadeveon Clowney - 2012. GamecocksOnline. October 3, 2012. Event occurs at 0:10. Retrieved September 26, 2013.
- Newberg, Jamie (January 20, 2011). "Who's going where?". ESPN.com.
- Low, Chris (December 31, 2012). "Jadeveon Clowney had lived up to the hype at South Carolina". ESPN.com.
- "Jadeveon Clowney". NFL Enterprises LLV. Retrieved 9 May 2014.
- Newberg, Jamie (February 11, 2011). "How Jadeveon Clowney got here". ESPN.com.
- Byers, Barry (December 10, 2010). "South Pointe's Clowney named Mr. Football in S.C.".
- Farrell, Mike (December 18, 2010). "Clowney leads S.C. to big Shrine Bowl win". Rivals.com.
- Herndon, Mike (January 4, 2011). "Under Armour All-America Notebook: Kouandjio, Clowney battle". AL.com.
- Feldman, Bruce (January 27, 2011). "No. 1 recruit Jadeveon Clowney, on the edge of greatness". ESPN The Magazine.
- Haubert, Craig; Luginbill, Tom; Tucker, Billy (June 9, 2010). "Jadeveon Clowney tops the initial ESPNU 150". ESPN.com.
- Crabtree, Jeremy (June 1, 2010). "Clowney tops initial Rivals100 for 2011". Rivals.com.
- Kennedy, Scott (April 8, 2010). "Clowney Tops Scout300". Scout.com.
- Newberg, Jamie (January 19, 2011). "Jadeveon Clowney goes wire-to-wire as No. 1 in ESPNU 150". ESPN.com.
- Glicksman, Ben (November 16, 2010). "South Pointe High's Jadeveon Clowney a monster on defense". Sports Illustrated.
- Jadeveon Clowney Picks the South Carolina Gamecocks Over Clemson and Alabama on YouTube
- Smith, Erick (February 14, 2011). "USA TODAY defensive player of year Jadeveon Clowney picks South Carolina". USA Today.
- Staples, Andy (February 14, 2011). "Top 2011 recruit Clowney ends suspense, picks South Carolina". Sports Illustrated.
- Viera, Mike; Thamel, Pete (February 11, 2011). "Fervor for Prized Prospect but Eligibility Questions". New York Times.
- Connolly, Matt (September 10, 2011). "Freshman Clowney stirs things up with sacks". Spartanburg Herald-Journal.
- "Ask 5: Is Clowney top defensive prospect in last decade?". NFL.com. August 14, 2013.
- "2012 South Carolina Football Statistics". Retrieved 3 January 2013.
- "Steve Spurrier beats Clemson, becomes S. Carolina's winningest coach". ESPN. November 24, 2012.
- "78th Heisman Trophy Presentation Results". Retrieved 12 December 2012.
- "Clowney named National Player of the Year". WIS. January 7, 2013.
- "Clowney Named All-America Player of the Year". Gamecock Athletics. January 8, 2013.
- "Dylan Thompson, South Carolina rally by Michigan to win Outback Bowl". ESPN. January 1, 2013.
- Jadeveon Clowney's Top Play on YouTube
- Clowney's big hit defines Outback Bowl
- "Jadeveon Clowney tops annual non-traditional Heisman Watch". Sports Illustrated. August 27, 2013.
- "Jadeveon Clowney good but tired in 2013 debut against North Carolina". CBS Sports. August 29, 2013.
- "Clowney quietly effective in No. 7 South Carolina's win". USA Today. August 30, 2013.
- "South Carolina star Jadeveon Clowney latest defensive player to see Heisman hype fizzle". Orlando Sentinel. September 9, 2013.
- "Steve Spurrier shoots down doubts about Jadeveon Clowney". ESPN. October 8, 2013.
- "Clowney's dominance overshadowed in upset loss to Tennessee". CBS Sports. October 19, 2013.
- "Jadeveon Clowney sits out easy win over Coastal Carolina". NFL.com. November 23, 2013.
- "The Hype Is No Joke". Sports Illustrated MMQB. December 10, 2013.
- "2013 All-SEC Football Team Announced". SEC Digital Network. December 10, 2013.
- "AFCA Announces 2013 FBS Coaches' All-America Team". AFCA. December 2013.
- "Jadeveon Clowney of South Carolina Gamecocks to skip senior season, enter NFL draft". ESPN.com. January 1, 2014.
- Lande, Russ (January 2, 2013). "A look ahead to the 2014 NFL Draft". National Football Post.
- "Jadeveon Clowney 'meaner, nastier' version of Julius Peppers". NFL.com. July 22, 2013.
- "NFL execs: No one cares Jadeveon Clowney is hurt, draft stock is fine". USA Today. October 7, 2013.
- "Can NFL teams trust Jadeveon Clowney". Sports Illustrated. October 8, 2013.
- "2014 NFL Mock Draft 2.0". Sports Illustrated. September 24, 2013.
- "2014 NFL Draft Report: Bridgewater, Manziel not the only quarterbacks worth talking about". Yahoo! Sports. September 26, 2013.
- "2014 NFL Mock Draft 3.0". Sports Illustrated. December 3, 2013.
- "Jadeveon Clowney runs 4.53 40-yard dash". NFL.com. February 24, 2014.
- "Jadeveon Clowney oozing with talent, potential". USA Today. February 24, 2014.
- "Jadeveon Clowney goes No. 1 to Texans in NFL draft". USA Today. 9 May 2014. Retrieved 9 May 2014.
- "Jadeveon Clowney selected No. 1 overall by Houston Texans in 2014 NFL draft". Sports Illustrated. 9 May 2014. Retrieved 9 May 2014.
- "Jadevon Clowney's off to a bad-luck beginning with Texans". Washington Post. September 8, 2014. Retrieved September 8, 2014.
- Ganguli, Tania (December 4, 2014). "Jadeveon Clowney to go on IR". ESPN.com. Retrieved December 6, 2014.
- "Clowney decision circus now the rule, not the exception". SI.com. February 14, 2011.
- "Jadeveon Clowney's mother expects him to play in 2013". SI.com. February 14, 2013.
- "The pursuit of Jadeveon Clowney". FOX Sports. February 25, 2011.