What if Clowney doesn't qualify?

On Monday, the nation’s best high school football prospect, Jadeveon Clowney, will finally make his college destination known to a live television audience on ESPN.

The 6-6, 260-pound defensive end from South Pointe High School in Rock Hill, S.C, did not reveal his school of choice on National Signing Day and will decide between South Carolina, Clemson and Alabama — with multiple reports declaring that his decision has already been made.

The event — and this is an event — will take place on Clowney’s 18th birthday, and it is unquestionably the biggest day of the young player’s life.

But according to a report by Mark Viera and Pete Thamel of The New York Times, Clowney’s immediate future may not be as bright as we have believed.

Two people with knowledge of his classroom performance are reportedly questioning whether Clowney will be able meet the NCAA’s minimum academic standard to play in the fall.

Hargrave Military Academy (Chatham, Va.) coach Troy Davis reviewed Clowney’s transcript and said it resembled that of other prospects who had failed to meet the NCAA’s standards in the past. The poor academic record forced those prospects to enroll in postgraduate programs, such as ones offered at Hargrave.

“A lot of D’s on there,” Davis said of Clowney’s transcript. He added that “it was pretty common” for a nonqualifier to have a transcript like Clowney’s.

Clowney, who recorded 29.5 sacks as a senior en route to being named the high school defensive player of the year by USA Today, has said that his academic record was not a matter of concern and that he had not given consideration to enrolling as a postgraduate student at another school.

Clowney’s academic situation is certainly one to keep an eye on as we progress through the offseason. But for now, Clowney will enjoy his moment on Monday — one that he has been working for his entire life on the field.

But was his off-the-field effort in the classroom strong enough to let him play on Saturdays next fall?

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

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