Steve Spurrier regrets comparing Jadeveon Clowney's work ethic with Marcus Lattimore
COLUMBIA -- South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier wanted to clear the air on one topic Wednesday afternoon.
Yes, he thinks Jadeveon Clowney is a hard worker.
"One thing that I wanted to keep telling the people is that Jadeveon Clowney, since he's been here we've won 11 games every year," Spurrier said. "That gets lost in all the individualism of pro football, I guess. I said, 'We didn't win 11 games because we had a problem. He was there all the time.'
"Even though he wasn't making sacks, he was disruptive and changed the other team's game plan. Every year Jadeveon Clowney played for South Carolina, we finished in the top 10 and won 11 games. Now that's pretty daggone neat right there."
Before the NFL Combine in late February, Spurrier raised eyebrows when he said Clowney's worker ethic "wasn't like Marcus Lattimore's," the former Gamecocks running back. Spurrier said Wednesday he regretted making the comparison.
"Marcus Lattimore is a guy you get once every 15 or 20 years," Spurrier said. "He's the first guy in the weight room, last one out. First guy on the practice field, last one out. During special teams practice, he takes the running backs, he's over there running, ropes, doing ball handling drills. I said, 'He was an exception.' I maybe should not have compared them.
"I should've said, 'Jadeveon, with the rest of the team, he was right there doing what they did.' Maybe that would've helped out, but I compared him to a guy who went above and beyond what was asked, and that was Marcus Lattimore."
Clowney had dinner with Houston Texans general manager Rick Smith, head coach Bill O'Brien and defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel on Tuesday night. There were discussions about his work ethic and love for the game, Clowney said.
O'Brien was asked Wednesday if he had any doubts about Clowney's work ethic.
"No. Absolutely not," he said.
What would Spurrier describe Clowney's work ethic to an NFL general manager or coach interested in drafting him?
"I'd say, 'He's fine. He's fine. He's fine,'" Spurrier said.