Before SEC quarterbacks go to sleep every night, they check under their beds for South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney. If I was in their shoes, I would too.
“I would think some guys are scared of him,” Georgia head coach Mark Richt told ESPN at SEC media days. “I’d be scared of him if I was in the game and this guy was coming after me.”
This was in response to Clowney, the terrifying movie monster that he is, claiming that Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray, among others, had fear in his eyes when lining up across from South Carolina’s D-line. Uh, no shit. If grim death was looking you square in the face I’m pretty sure looking scared would be a secondary worry after wondering how much liquid per square inch your underwear can absorb.
None of this is hyperbole, by the way. And none of us are safe.
Clowney is the biggest, meanest thing this side of Jason Vorhees. He was 6-foot-3, 200 pounds as a freshman in high school. Now a frightening 6-6, 270, Clowney looks and acts every bit like the freaking Predator. Long, spindly spider-leg hair crawling out of his head, big, menacing, toothy smile, arms and legs chiseled by the hammer of Thor. He’s out there, somewhere, right now, fantasizing about dry-humping ball carriers into the grass, and there’s nothing we can do about it.
The truth is, Clowney was born to scare people. It’s like some sort of god awful manifest destiny. When you read his high school stats — 162 tackles, 29.5 sacks, 29 tackles for loss, 11 forced fumbles his senior year — you can hear the whimpering sobs of teenagers echo between your ears. Some people like to paint or sing or build little houses out of toothpicks; Jadeveon Clowney likes to make things dead. He’s Freddy Krueger in shoulder pads.
Oh, and I haven’t even gotten to the hit yet. You saw the hit, and if you didn’t you surely felt it in your bones all the way from Tampa Bay. It was the reason why your butthole randomly hurt last January.
Playing in the Outback Bowl against Michigan, Clowney was feeling particularly kill-y. With about 8 minutes to go, Wolverine running back Vincent Smith received a hand-off from Denard Robinson and ran up the middle like he had a million times. Only this time, as he neared his blockers, he saw a beautiful bright light and the faint ring of angel’s trumpets. Something had murdered him. Something that was so fast and strong he didn’t even have time to say his goodbyes. Something, for all intents and purposes, might as well been a cannonball from Blackbeard’s death ship.
It was Clowney. He had split his blockers, tore through the backfield, and hit Smith with a lifetime supply of pain and suffering. He hit Smith so hard car alarms went off in the parking lot. He hit Smith so hard George Clooney turned into a woman. If there wasn’t astro turf there to stop him, honest to god, Smith would have wound up in Beijing.
And as the ball squirmed away from Smith’s lifeless fingers, Clowney reached out with one of his bear paws and sucked it up like a vacuum cleaner. Ladies and gentleman, this was your 2013 Play of the Year. And the reason you should always sleep with the light on.
“You can look at a guy and tell that he’s scared,” Clowney told ESPN. “If he’s staring at me before the ball is snapped and he’s staring at me every play before the ball is snapped, oh we got him. I tell the players that he’s shook.”
They’re shook. You’re shook. We’re all shook. All we can do is check our beds and pray Clowney isn’t waiting under there.
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