HOOVER, Ala. -- Jadeveon Clowney's legacy at South Carolina is one of a freakish athlete and a dominant pass rusher.
But Gamecocks coach Steve Spurrier joked Tuesday at SEC Media Days that the No. 1 overall draft pick in 2014 also left behind a way for the coach to get a message through to players who might need some motivation. Asked about the difficulty of dealing with players who have a sense of entitlement, particularly younger ones who enter the program as highly regarded recruits, Spurrier said: "You handle them a little differently. ... Every now and then I'll tell a player 'Are we going to have to put you on the Clowney program?'"
The reference, of course, was to Clowney's last year at South Carolina, when his motivation was questioned by NFL scouts as injuries that limited him became a point of frustration for Spurrier. However, Spurrier, as he often does, followed the jab with a softener.
"(Clowney) was fine most of the time. He had some little nagging injuries that prevented him from running after practice, things of that nature," Spurrier said. "But he was such a marvelous athlete. When the ball was snapped, he was the best. Sometimes you have a different program, but as long as they produce in the ball games, I think all the teammates understand that, hey, he's going to be there when the ball game starts."
Clowney's rookie season with the Houston Texans was cut short by an injury, and this one wasn't minor. He underwent microfracture surgery in December and played in only four games last season. It was reported in June that the Texans' goal is to have Clowney back on the field for the start of training camp.