South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney is widely recognized as the top player in college football. He would have been the top pick in the NFL draft had he been eligible last year, and he’s the heavy favorite to go first overall next year.
As much as people have praised Clowney’s ability, nobody took it as far as Georgia head coach Mark Richt did on Monday.
According to Seth Emerson of The Macon Telegraph, Richt was asked during a UGA Day fan event who’s harder to game plan for: Johnny Manziel or Clowney.
“I would think it would be tougher to gameplan Johnny Manziel,” Richt said.
According to Emerson, Richt quickly added a remark about Clowney.
“I would say Clowney is the best football player in the world though. Seriously. I think he might be the very best player who exists today, at any level.”
Look, Clowney’s talents are not a secret. The guy made probably the best hit in a game any of us have ever seen. He’s making a run at the NCAA sack record. Jay-Z supposedly is already recruiting him to sign with his agency. But calling Clowney the best player in the world is stronger praise than we’ve ever heard. That would mean he’s better than DeMarcus Ware and J.J. Watt to name a few top defensive lineman in the NFL. That would mean he’s better than Aaron Rodgers and Adrian Peterson, too.
I wouldn’t go as far as Richt did with my praise, but I’d feel comfortable calling Clowney one of the best five or 10 defensive linemen in the world.