|Bob Leverone / Associated Press|
|South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney recently took out a $5 million insurance policy on his health.|
COLUMBIA, S.C. -- South Carolina's Jadeveon Clowney has taken out a $5 million insurance policy to protect himself financially during the Gamecocks' 2013 season.
The All-American defensive end used Twitter to laugh off discussions last month about if he should sit out the year and not risk injury, but he apparently has been seriously thinking about his NFL future.
Several analysts say the 6-foot-6 Clowney would be the No. 1 overall pick in this year's NFL draft if he were eligible. That led to questions if Clowney should consider not playing and avoid possibly suffering an injury that might ruin his draft status.
Clowney said there never was a doubt he would play, but he did use the NCAA's "Exceptional Student-Athlete Disability Program" that permits qualifying athletes in football, men's and women's basketball, baseball and ice hockey, to take out a loan to help finance the cost of an insurance policy, which they must repay upon signing a pro contract.
Clowney confirmed Thursday that he had the $5 million policy, but he did not say he was concerned about being injured.
The $5 million is the maximum amount allowed, and NCAA spokesman Chris Radford has said such policies cost about $30,000. Radford said between 75 and 100 athletes take advantage of the program annually -- about 80 percent of those are football players.
Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press