South Carolina is a team that is stacked with star talent and one of the best coaches in the game. In prior years, they stayed quiet. This year, Jadeveon Clowney and Steve Spurrier are opening their mouths.
Clowney and Spurrier spoke with total swagger in their press conferences during the SEC Media Days this week, but talk is cheap unless one can back it up.
Look out, SEC. These guys can back it up.
Take Clowney. He has not had a ton of opportunities to speak to the public in the early days of his career at South Carolina. Now, the Gamecocks star and potential No. 1 draft pick has the chance. And he locked it up.
Of course, Clowney is the most feared defensive player in the country. Just ask Michigan's Vincent Smith. But, now he can chirp the other players and talk some more fear into them.
Clowney took shots at Clemson's Tajh Boyd and Georgia's Aaron Murray as well as discussing his edge. According to Brent Zwernemen of the Houston Chronicle, "You can look at a guy and tell that he's scared. If he's staring at me every play before the ball is snapped, we've got him. I tell the players, 'He's shook.'"
Clowney is going to make all quarterbacks "shook" this season. His talk is just as scary as his play because this kid can do anything, and he intends to back it up.
Some quarterbacks better watch themselves this season. Clowney is on the grind to ruin each SEC quarterback's day. According to Zwernemen, Clowney singled out Boyd, "He's scared every time we play them. I know he's probably listening right now, but I'm just telling the truth, man."
His statements were spoken with slick confidence, and Clowney has earned the right to do so. His choice words make sense and hint toward South Carolina having a huge 2013.
If Clowney can keep playing and progressing at this level, he will torture SEC offenses in 2013. That is what he intends to do, and that is what he will do.
I'd hate to be an SEC quarterback with him staring at me. Just ask Georgia head coach Mark Richt.
As for Spurrier, he is always good for an opinion, though the head ball coach does not like to open his mouth unless he either has something really good to say or is extremely confident in his team—check and check.
Spurrier expressed his opinions about Notre Dame, taking shots at the independent school that floats freely without full affiliation with a football conference.
According to Chip Patterson of CBSSports.com, "Spurrier acknowledged that Notre Dame is now "kind of" in the ACC, thanks to its partial membership and five-game scheduling agreement, but he believes the Fighting Irish should play a full conference schedule like everyone else."
Notre Dame does not have to deal with the toughness of playing in conference and fighting to win divisions and conferences. Spurrier does not like this concept at all.
What made this comment really interesting is that it came out of nowhere. Spurrier just wanted to get his two cents in.
He took a chance with taking shots at a team and continued to rattle off comments with a sense of swagger.
According to Patterson, Spurrier continued the discussion about player stipends for games:
Spurrier has been campaigning for player stipends for several years now, and he continues to cite $300 per game as a reference figure for college football players. He argues that money can help pay for families to travel as well as put some extra money in the pockets of players who do not come from low-income backgrounds.
He has a point, and some of his players are that good. Clowney is a moneymaker with all of his talent and image as the most feared defensive player. Spurrier wanted to drive this point home, and it also shows how good he thinks his team is.
If there is one thing we learned about South Carolina at the SEC Media Days, it is that this team is confident, bold and champing at the bit to show the conference what they are made of.
Clowney and Spurrier will talk about anything, and they are able to put their money where their mouth is.
With remarks like the ones they made as well as the swagger Clowney and Spurrier bring to the college football world and to their team, the Gamecocks will be in for a big 2013.
South Carolina does not just have two confident big talkers. The Gamecocks have two confident big talkers with a whole lot of game.