South Carolina's Clowney making an instant impact

You had to think it would turn out this way.

One look at his highlight videos, and the kid had “special” written all over him.

Yes, Jadeveon Clowney is making an instant impact at South Carolina’s fall camp.

Jadeveon ClowneySouth Carolina's Jadeveon Clowney will play immediately this fall.

In his post discussing what we have learned thus far after five practices, Scott Hood of GamecockCentral.com writes that Clowney has been causing problems for the Gamecocks’ offensive tackles on a consistent basis coming off the edge. The top recruit from the Class of 2011 has made a habit of making his presence felt in the offensive backfield during full team drills, and Hood notes that Clowney could “have dozens of sacks if the Gamecocks allowed defenders to hit their quarterbacks.”

Defensive coordinator Ellis Johnson likely will experiment with how he uses the 6-6, 254-pounder — lining up at defensive end both with his hand on the ground and starting from a stand up position as well as possibly playing some outside linebacker.

“It’s going to be different,” Clowney said Sunday. “They want me to be a playmaker but everyone is a playmaker. I’ll do my part. Whatever coach tells me to do — outside, in — the playbook is hard to learn but I’m going to get it. I’ll be moved end to end, probably.”

While getting Clowney’s commitment was huge for the program — it was the third straight season head coach Steve Spurrier was able to get the state’s best player to come to Columbia — the Gamecocks have the luxury of easing Clowney into the rotation because they have good depth along the defensive line, led by first-team All-SEC performer Devin Taylor and fellow end Melvin Ingram, who led the team in sacks with nine.

But the way Clowney is progressing through camp, it will be hard to keep him off the field as the Gamecocks look to win the SEC East for a second consecutive season.

Email dave.miller@nationalfootballpost.com or follow me on Twitter at Miller_Dave

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