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Jadeveon Clowney's Greatest College Football Moments

Randy ChambersAnalyst IJanuary 1, 2014

Jadeveon Clowney's Greatest College Football Moments

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    Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images

    Jadeveon Clowney is the latest big name to throw his name into the NFL hat, as he made his announcement after South Carolina's bowl victory over Wisconsin. This move shouldn't come as a surprise with Clowney widely being considered a surefire Top 10 pick and a franchise changer at the next level. 

    In his three-year career, Clowney racked up 24 sacks and had three straight seasons of double-digit tackles for a loss. He's a once-in-a-generation type player and should impact the NFL in a big way. 

    But before he gets on his way and leaves college ball completely, let's take a look at some of his best moments.

    Spoiler alert: The top moment is a hit you've probably seen 748 times. 

5. The Commitment

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    Jadeveon Clowney was one of the highly rated recruits who actually panned out. He was widely considered the best overall recruit of the 2011 class and had coaching staffs across the country drooling over his potential. 

    After cutting his list down, Clowney would make his final decision between South Carolina, Clemson and Alabama. He ultimately chose the Gamecocks because it was close to home and allowed him to play with some of his high school friends. 

    This commitment really changed South Carolina football, as it opened the door for others to follow suit and help build the program. 

4. Spring Game Touchdown

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    Everybody in South Carolina held their breath when Clowney missed some practice during the spring and was ruled out of the spring game with neck and back pain. Nobody knew the severity of the injuries and were just hoping it was nothing serious that would put the regular season in jeopardy. 

    Have no fear.

    In the fourth quarter of the spring game, Clowney came running onto the field to catch a deep pass in gym shorts and a jersey. It got a rise out of the crowd, but it was also a friendly reminder that the talented defensive player was alright. 

    This memorable moment made the South Carolina spring game special. 

3. His Entire 2012 Season

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    Clowney was always great, but it was his 2012 season when he really stood out. He finished the season with 54 tackles, 23.5 tackles for a loss, 13 sacks and three forced fumbles. His sack and tackles for loss totals were good for second in the country.

    Those numbers led to him being named a unanimous All-American, SEC Defensive Player of the Year and first-team All-SEC. It also helped build some serious Heisman buzz heading into the 2013 season.

    Very few players dominate the way Clowney dominated in 2012. It will certainly be a year to remember decades down the road. 

2. Clowney vs. Clemson

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    Clowney's best single-game performance came in the 2012 meeting against rival Clemson. He finished with a career-high 4.5 sacks. He also tacked on seven tackles for good measure.

    Interestingly enough, Clowney never had another game with more than two sacks. However, on this day, Clowney just couldn't be stopped. No matter what Clemson tried to do, the athletic defensive end found a way to get the job done and tackled quarterback Tajh Boyd behind the line of scrimmage. 

    It was this performance that led Clowney into thinking Boyd was scared of him. I think any wise man would share that emotion. 

1. The Hit

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    You could see this coming from a mile away. Unfortunately, Michigan's Vincent Jackson saw it coming as well but there wasn't much he could do from being knocked into another zip code.

    The hit heard around the world took place during the Outback Bowl. The force of the collision was enough to jar the ball loose, giving South Carolina the ball back and allowing the Gamecocks to score the go-ahead touchdown. 

    Chances are you've seen this play once or twice. It was the play that defined Jadeveon Clowney's legacy and is one that will forever live in college football history. 

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