South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney is widely considered to be the best player in college football. There are plenty of reasons for that. The one that everyone remembers is the famous hit on Michigan running back Vincent Smith, but Clowney reminded everyone on Monday that ball carriers are not the only players who fear him.
Clowney told reporters that opposing SEC quarterbacks are afraid of him, specifically singling out Clemson signal-caller Tajh Boyd.
“He is scared every time we play them,” Clowney said, via Eric Adelson of Yahoo! Sports. “I know he’s listening right now but I’m telling the truth.”
The 256-pounder added that Boyd “was shook” last season and that he told his teammates “we got him” when he could tell that Boyd was worried. He also said he can tell that Georgia’s Aaron Murray and Arkansas’ Tyler Wilson were scared when he lines up across from them.
“You can tell if a player is scared if he looks at me every time before the ball is snapped,” Clowney said.
Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney disagreed with Clowney, saying that he doesn’t think his quarterback is “scared of anybody.” Clowney said every quarterback he faced in high school was also scared of him, so it’s nothing new for him.
No player would ever admit that they’re afraid of an opponent, but Clowney is probably right. He could have used the word “intimidated” to be less offensive, but the point remains. Clowney is a game-changer, and there are very few offensive linemen who can block him without help. Quarterbacks know that, so it’s only natural for them to be thinking about it at all times when facing the Gamecocks.