Friday, June 4, 2010

Rock Hill's Clowney ranked top recruit in country

The phone in Bobby Carroll's office at South Pointe High has been ringing off the hook.


Nearly every coach at a major college has called to extend their congratulations of the latest news involving Carroll's football team.


Carroll coaches the No. 1 football player in the country, not just at his position and not just in South Carolina. Stallions defensive end Jadeveon Clowney has been chosen by three football recruiting services as the nation's best player in all of the 50 states.


"I'm happy to know football people feel I'm the number one player in the nation," Clowney said. "It's a big thing... really big. But I'm about team first and these honors bring recognition to South Pointe.


"When college coaches come here, they see we have a lot of good players that deserve a chance. No matter what is said about my abilities, you can't win without a team attitude. It takes all of us to be successful."


Clowney is at the top of the lists released by Rivals.com, Scouts.com and ESPN. Renowned high school analyst Tom Lemming, who ranked the top 100 players for MAXPreps.com, has Clowney at No. 2 in the nation.


"You wouldn't believe all of the calls," Carroll said. "Nearly every big-time coach in the country in interested in signing him and he has a stack of offers unlike any I've seen. I've coached five players now in the NFL and none were recruited as heavily as Clowney."


Clowney, who is 6-feet-6, 245 pounds, has listed South Carolina, North Carolina and Alabama as his top three schools, but that could change. South Carolina is most mentioned by observers not because of anything Clowney has said but because former South Pointe Stallions Stephon Gilmore and DeVonte Holloman play there.


According to Jim Baxter, who runs SCVarsity.com, South Carolina's branch of Rivals.com, no S.C. player has ever been ranked No. 1 nationally.


-- Barry Byers, Rock Hill Herald

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