South Carolina football: Jadeveon Clowney named top recruit of the century

Former South Carolina football star named top recruit of century.

24/7 Sports has long been considered one of the top recruiting outlets in all of college sports. The site annually rates prospects from all over the country, projecting which players will be key contributors, which will go on to have All-American type careers, and which will eventually make a living in the National Football League.

Of all the recruits covered since the turn of the century, the site decided to narrow things down and make a list of the top 50 prospects since the year 2000. A familiar name topped the list.

Former South Carolina football star Jadeveon Clowney was named the top recruit of the century, landing a perfect grade of 1.000 by the recruiting services. He was an unstoppable force during his time at South Pointe High School in Rock Hill, and eventually chose to play for the home state Gamecocks over offers from Alabama and Clemson.

Here’s what 24/7 Sports had to say about Clowney’s recruitment.

Even among No. 1s, Jadaveon Clowney is in a class of his own. The defensive end was the top-rated talent of the 2011 recruiting class. After racking up honors at South Carolina, Clowney became the overall No. 1 pick of the 2014 NFL Draft. Clowney notched three Pro Bowl seasons with the Houston Texans. 

While at South Carolina, Clowney helped the Gamecocks reel off three consecutive 11-win seasons. As a freshman, he tallied eight sacks and a career-high five forced fumbles. The following year was even more productive, as the defensive end recorded a program record  23.5 tackles for loss and 13 sacks. He finished the year sixth in the Heisman voting and earned the Ted Hendricks Award as the nation’s top defensive lineman. Clowney was a unanimous All-American.

His junior year was a bit disappointing as he battled double and triple teams throughout the season. Still, Clowney notched 11.5 tackles for loss and three quarterback takedowns. He’d be chosen No. 1 overall in the ensuing NFL Draft.