The definition of a freak

CLEMSON - Brent Venables is pretty picky when it comes to handing out the "freak" label.

It's an adjective that gets tossed around way too frequently in the day and age when anyone with a computer and an Internet connection can double as a talent evaluator.

Venables ran with the topic on Tuesday when he began to field questions about specific players who may or may not turn pro after this season, most notably Vic Beasley.

"You see all these meatheads talking about they know who all the first-round guys are. They've got all their mock [drafts]," Venables said. "Listen, I've had the guys that think they are [first-round picks]. I know exactly what they're being told.

"You're not really there. But they're like, ‘Yeah, everybody's talked to these guys. My agent has talked to these people and I'm a first or second-round, at worst.' Then, next thing you know, they don't get drafted. I've had the All-American not get drafted. They're like, ‘What do I do?'"

Get good advice before making a decision. That's the best place to start.

Actually, it's the only place to start.

"You better be sure. You better be sure. You better be sure," Venables said. "Hopefully, they trust people…In reality all [coaches] want to do is what's best for these kids."

And if you don't fit Venables' slightly vague criteria for what it takes to make a successful early jump to the League, stay in school.

"If he's for sure, a slam dunk freak -- listen, you better be a freak. Freak -- freak's Adrian Peterson. There's probably a guy over here," Venables said, as he pointed towards Sammy Watkins.

"Freak's a no-brainer to me. That's me, but to each his own."

It's a battle that Venables has to fight far more often than he would prefer.

"I had one dad call me," Venables said. "‘What do you think, coach?'

"‘Do you want to know or do you want me to tell you what you want to hear?'

"And so I give him my opinion and it's like I'm the bad guy now. Then, the guy doesn't get drafted. Then, of course, the agents, all the guys that have been pumping, they say it's the coaches, the coaches must have done something."

Venables was non-committal when it came to placing Beasley in the freak stratosphere.

"Is he a first-round guy? I don't know," Venables said.

Only time will tell. Top Stories