Clowney wowed by USC fans
COLUMBIA -- There was a noticeable absence at South Carolina's practice Monday morning -- mostly because it's the guy fans are showing up to see the most during preseason camp.
Jadeveon Clowney missed the practice to tend to a personal matter at home in Rock Hill. The issue is not considered anything serious, a source said. It's merely a one-time event that required his attention.
Clowney is expected back at practice this morning.
The 6-6, 250-pound Clowney, the nation's top recruit in the 2011 class, has said the extra attention on him does not bother him at all. He said one thing he's noticed so far is fan support.
Nearly 2,000 people attended USC's first practice last week. Many were there to get a glimpse of Clowney's on-field debut.
"I was like, 'Gah, these fans love their Gamecocks,' " Clowney said.
Getting facts straight
Coach Steve Spurrier made a point Sunday to "set the record straight" about how receiver Bruce Ellington made the decision to play both football and basketball.
He initially prompted Ellington to clear the air in the media session with offensive players. Additionally, as if he were unsatisfied, he then explained it himself.
"There was a misleading, fabricated story that I tried to recruit him and took him from the basketball program," Spurrier said, referring to a March newspaper column. "It wasn't true. But a lot of things we read aren't true."
Including a one-handed catch in Sunday night's practice, coaches have said Ellington is off to a nice start in his transition to football.
Gilmore on another list
Junior cornerback Stephon Gilmore was one of 50 players to land Monday on the Hornung Award watch list, given to the "most versatile, high-level performer" in major college football. Gilmore qualifies, because, in addition to corner, he has returned punts and played quarterback in the wildcat formation.
Ellington could get a look in the wildcat -- and in the return game -- this season.
In addition to being a first-team All-SEC choice by the coaches and media, Gilmore is also on the following award watch lists: Bednarik (top defensive player), Nagurski (top defensive player), Thorpe (top defensive back) and Walter Camp (top defensive player).
Fan Appreciation Day info
The annual fan appreciation event will be held Sunday from 12:30-2:30 p.m. at Colonial Life Arena, the school said Monday. Players are expected to arrive about 1 p.m. Parking at the arena is free.
The school is asking fans to leave items to be signed at home, to curb illegal sales of autographed memorabilia. Instead, a poster will be supplied at the arena for autographs.