Steve Spurrier: I don't know what Mark Richt is trying to say
Posted by: Chris Vannini on Wednesday July 31, 2013
Steve Spurrier hopes Mark Richt isn’t laying a trap.
Richt raised some eyebrows earlier this week when he said Jadeveon Clowney is the best football player at any level.
Spurrier joined The Jim Rome Show and said he was surprised by that level of praise.
“That was a little strong right there,” Spurrier said. “Obviously, Jadeveon is probably the best defensive lineman in college football. I think everyone agrees with that. But when you start putting linemen in there with quarterbacks, receivers and running backs, I don’t know what he’s trying to say. If he’s trying to fatten up Jadeveon’s thinking, I hope it doesn’t work.
“Jadeveon has had a lot of praise, a lot of attention the entire offseason. I think he’s handled it pretty well. He tries to stay out of the limelight. He doesn’t go to the clubs. He’s not out in public much, except when he has to go to class and so forth. I think he’s handled it well.”
There was some news recently when it appeared Clowney had spoken with Jay Z’s sports agency, but a school investigation found no violations. Spurrier understands Clowney will probably be the No. 1 pick, and he has voiced his opinion about increasing a stipend for players, but Clowney has done a good job waiting until he’s eligible for the NFL.
“Basically, we’ve told Jadeveon, ‘You’ve got to be a student-athlete until the bowl game your third year. When the bowl game is over, you become a pro athlete. Then you can start accepting all the money everybody wants to give you. Until then, you’ve got to be a student-athlete just like all your teammates,’” Spurrier said. “He’s done a good job of that.
“He’s been to all the workouts this summer and he’s been a good teammate. He’s just got to do that until whatever bowl game we’re in. As soon as it’s over, he’s a free agent. He can accept anything they want to give him.”
Clowney’s handling of fame has been compared with Johnny Manziel, who has been out and about for most of the offseason, creating a bevy of headlines. Spurrier himself is a former Heisman Trophy winner, but today’s media culture has obviously changed things. Spurrier seemed to question some of Manziel’s decisions, but didn't want to get too into another team's player.
“Obviously, wherever you go, if you go to the bar or a club or something, somebody’s going to snap a picture of you and put it on their Facebook or whatever,” Spurrier said. “There’s no secrets much anymore with what you do. Johnny, he likes to get out and about, I guess, which a lot of did in college. But it’s a different day than it was 30-40 years ago. Johnny’s a very good player. Of course, he had his own special deal, with all the classes online. It was surprising that all his teammates are going to class, yet I guess he did all of it online. That was a little unusual right there.”
Spurrier said he wouldn’t let Clowney take solely online classes. Just like with the eligibility, Spurrier has wanted to Clowney to have as normal of a college life as he can, and when he can leave, he’s free to do whatever he wants.