17 Year Old Football Recruit Pulls a Lebron, Few Care

by npiller88


It’s official. Jadeveon Clowney will be clowning around in Columbia. The 17  year-old Clowney, a defensive line recruit and all-around-athletic freak announced his “decision” to take his talents to the University of South Carolina, live on ESPN yesterday.

Never mind that he left Clemson in the lurch, entertaining the idea of going there after they attracted a pair of blue chip linebacker recruits. He even admitted to having made up his mind a week ago, only to insist on announcing his decision publicly during this media event (and numerous figures close to Clowney predicted the South Carolina announcement ahead of time). So, I ask, what is the purpose of making this announcement publicly, and giving Clemson false hopes to land the nation’s top high school recruit? It seems that Clowney is simply rehearsing for his long career as a deeply entitled pro athlete, but starting at age 17 (Ok, so he was actually 18, but BARELY–he made the announcement on Valentines Day, which happens to be his birthday) is a little early. Even Lebron waited until free agency (and the ripe age of 25) to string the Cavaliers along on national television. The key difference here is that as good as Clowney is (and he is jaw-droppingly stunning–just look him up on Youtube), Lebron was an even more magnetic, prodigious figure at Clowney’s age. And you didn’t see Lebron pulling stunts like this. It’s nothing new for recruits to build suspense for their college announcements, but usually the traditional ceremony where they pick a baseball cap featuring their new school’s logo out of an assortment of choices comes on National Signing Day, which is long gone. Clowney deliberately scheduled this announcement, as the final remaining top football recruit yet to announce his decision, with the intention of generating buzz.

Perhaps this is just how things are done these days. Players see a marketing opportunity and seize it. Even before they are legally allowed to smoke cigarettes.

Maybe it’s the influence of the Youtube age. A quick glance at Clowney’s highlights from high school is all you need to be converted to the Jadeveon nation. There’s a moment in one of the clips where he rushes the quarterback, but its a running play, and the tailback heads upfield about ten yards past the line of scrimmage. Tacklers on Clowney’s team keep missing, and it looks like the runner has a shot at taking it all the way. But then, about ten yards later, in comes Clowney to chase him down, exhibiting all-world speed in the body of a beefier, young Lebron James. The word “beast” doesn’t do this kid justice. See for yourself:

But the problem is, his star rose so quickly after the promotional engine of Youtube among others sent it on its way, giving him the leeway to hold these media events, with no purpose other than to pump up his relevance. Of course, this morning, most of America will not know who he is, or what he does. He’s just another 17 (whoops, 18) year old. Now, lets just hope his mother (who has held his hand through this process) is wiser than Cam Newton’s father.


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