Some athletes – despite having parents and occasionally showing moments of weakness – are cyborgs built in an underground lab near Area 51. They live amongst us causing no harm outside of their respective sports, feasting only on a strict diet of opposing, weaker foes and the occasional quartet of groupies. Jadeveon Clowney is one of those cyborgs.
Clowney’s coming of age 2012 season put him on the radar for football nerds. Steve Spurrier said he was ready for the pros shortly after his senior prom. Meanwhile, his New Year’s Day baptism and on-field sacrifice of Michigan’s Drew Smith is still the year’s top highlight, making him a pop culture sensation in the process. The Rock Hill, South Carolina, native would’ve been the consensus #1 pick had he been eligible to come out this year. Since he’s not, the legend of the Gamecock Goliath stands to grow for another autumn and winter with opposing SEC quarterbacks are running for dear life.
Now, months before the season even kicks off, J.C. added another mythical – and all-round petrifying – achievement to his ever-evolving rap sheet. He ran a 4.5 40 at South Carolina’s winter workouts.
Uh, excuse me?
FOUR POINT FIVE?
I’ll be the first to admit 40 times are one of the most overrated methods used to critique an athlete’s potential. We know Clowney’s body of work, however. And keep in mind, the son of a bitch* is 6’6 270 pounds.* Putting that in perspective, he’s two inches shorter than LeBron, but twenty pounds heavier and a half step faster. His hands are probably strong enough to rip a phone book in half, which doesn’t mean anything in regards to speed, but a fun fact embedded in a paragraph bursting at the seams with them. Jadeveon’s time is only .12 seconds behind Adrian Peterson, too, by the way. Uh, what?
This means, not only can he chase down quarterbacks, but running backs, and most wide receivers are now in harm’s way. See what I mean by cyborgs sent to live amongst us providing for bone-jarring hits and entertainment? My only two wishes for Jadeveon are actually quite simple.
1. While we’re all better off that Clowney isn’t sitting this year out, I hope Jadeveon avoids serious injury this season. That doesn’t serve anyone well – college football, the NFL and the people who just love the game.
2. He somehow lands in Dallas. And if that doesn’t happen, he shouldn’t land anywhere near the NFC East. Better yet, keep him out the NFC as a whole. I don’t need the added stress during the fall when I’ve already got to deal with the Giants defensive line, Chip Kelly’s speed offense and that Black Jesus guy in D.C.
* – I mean that in the nicest way possible. Jadeveon, please don’t track my IP address and kill me.