COLUMBIA, S.C. — Jadeveon Clowney went through defensive drill after defensive drill virtually non-stop Wednesday as representatives from almost every team in the NFL watched intently.
Clowney, the South Carolina All-America defensive end whose draft ranking seems to hinge on opinions about his work ethic, appeared to alleviate the concerns during the school’s pro day at Williams-Brice Stadium.
“I can pretty much do it all,” Clowney said. “Anything on defense, I can help. I can be a playmaker. I’ve got what it takes, I believe. I go out here and set the tone for the next guys coming up and help my team win games.
“Every team I’ve ever played on, we never had a losing season, never. My three years here we were 11-2, three years in a row.”
Houston Texans coach Bill O’Brien, whose team has the No.1 pick in next month’s NFL draft, played his cards close to the vest after Clowney’s workout. However, it’s clear Clowney is very much on the team’s radar.
“He is a fun guy to watch on film. There was nothing (Wednesday) that changed my mind as far as what type of player he is,” O’Brien said.
“We were able to spend some time with him (Tuesday night). He is a good guy. He is a fun guy to talk to. He is a team guy.”
Clowney, who ran a 4.53-second 40-yard dash at the NFL combine in February, spent his time working primarily on defensive agility drills, many conducted by Texans defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel.
“It was great working with him,” Clowney said. “I had a guy working with me my first two years here, Brad Lawing, who pushed me just like that.
“I used to always ask him, ‘Why are you pushing me like that?’ He said, ‘We want you to be great. We want you to be one of the best.’ I feel like these guys out here want you to be great too.”
Several national analysts raved about Clowney’s workout.
“I say fill the card out now and turn it in now to the commissioner,” ESPN’s Tedy Bruschi said. “You don’t need to see anything else. This is the No.1 overall pick of the Houston Texans, in my opinion ... Let’s stop spraying the perfume on these quarterbacks to make them look better than they are. Jadeveon Clowney is the pick.”
Many of the drills Clowney was put through were those of an outside linebacker, although Gamecocks coach Steve Spurrier doesn’t believe that would happen on a consistent basis in the NFL.
“What he does best is not put his hand on the ground, but put two hands on the ground,” Spurrier said, referring to the stances at linebacker and defensive end, respectively. “He is a two-handed rusher. He puts them both (down) and he comes.”
Spurrier clarified earlier comments he made about Clowney’s work ethic.
“I compared him to Marcus Lattimore,” Spurrier said. “I said Marcus Lattimore is a guy you get once every 15 or 20 years. He is the first guy in the weight room, the last guy out. The first guy on the practice field, the last guy out.
“He was an exception. I maybe should not have compared them. I should have said Jadeveon, with the rest of the team, was right there doing what they did.”