Kelcy Quarles: Jadeveon Clowney wasn't only guy making plays

INDIANAPOLIS -- There were indeed 10 other players not named Jadeveon Clowney on the South Carolina defense last year, but one would hardly know it, given the media attention and credit that the nation's most dynamic defensive player drew for his team's success.

Even in making just three sacks in his last year of college, 10.5 fewer than he made as a sophomore in 2012, the double-team blocking Clowney drew was often cited as the reason other Gamecocks were able to make plays. Some got more tired of it than others. Defensive tackle Kelcy Quarles led the team in sacks (9.5) and tackles for loss (13.5), and he admitted he's heard enough about Clowney's double teams.

"I do get tired of hearing it, but it is what it is," he said. "I felt like I was in the weight room working hard at 6 o'clock in the morning. I was the one after two-a-days running through hoops so I could get to the quarterback. I'm glad he was out there, and the attention he had, but at the end of the day I still had to beat my man to get there."

This coming on the heels of South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier essentially confirming doubts about Clowney's work ethic, describing it as just "OK" on "NFL AM", which in turn prompted one of the first questions Clowney drew from the media at the NFL Scouting Combine on Saturday.

"His work habits are pretty good, maybe not quite as good as Marcus Lattimore, and maybe Stephon Gilmore and Melvin Ingram and some of those guys," Spurrier said, referring to Clowney's former Gamecocks teammates, before adding that "when the ball's snapped, he's got something nobody else has."

Gamecocks cornerback Vic Hampton, however, came to Clowney's defense. Hampton said he believes he got more attention from the NFL, not less, because of Clowney's presence.

"You kind of get used to it," he said. "But you know, that's just the media. He brings the scouts, so you've got to show out and open up eyes and bring your own name out a little more. It was a great opportunity being on the same team as him."

Those scouts, Hampton said, have told him he will be drafted on the second day of the draft, in the second or third round. And he's not sure they all would have noticed him had it not been for Clowney.

Either way, the Clowney Circus has packed up and left Columbia, S.C.

And if Clowney has his way, it's bound for Atlanta.

Follow Chase Goodbread on Twitter @ChaseGoodbread.

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