Clowney Selects Carolina

One of the most intense recruitments in the history of the state of South Carolina finally officially ended Monday when the nation's top prospect Jadeveon Clowney selected South Carolina over his other two finalists Clemson and Alabama. The five-star defensive end from South Pointe HS (Rock Hill, S.C.) will be the final and 32nd signee of the Gamecocks' class of 2011.

Clowney first thanked all the coaches who recruited him and then after waiting a brief period for ESPN to come back from commercial went live on the network's Sportscenter program.

After answering a couple of questions, without flair Clowney reached over and picked up a South Carolina hat officially announcing his commitment to South Carolina and ending what was a grueling process for him and his mother.

South Carolina received his signed letter-of-intent and processed it around an hour later.

Clowney said he loved his official visit to Alabama but in the end it was just too far away. He also indicated that a late push from Clemson was very real but that he ultimately wanted to play in the SEC.

That along with the proximity to home and the opportunity to play with former teammates Stephon Gilmore and Devonte Holloman and Gerald Dixon, who also signed with Carolina out of South Pointe in this class, were all the Gamecocks needed to ultimately land possibly the most highly recruited player in school history.

Clowney says those former teammates knew for most of the process that he was likely headed to USC, but that he didn't make a final decision until last Tuesday.

Clowney admitted that he has a hard time saying "no" which has undoubted contributed to the whirlwind nature of his recruitment that has seen Clowney featured on ESPN The Magazine, star in a documentary and delay his announcement by 12 days.

Clowney and his mother both said they were glad that the process is now over.

While South Carolina assistant head coach in charge of the defense Ellis Johnson was officially his recruiter of record, Clowney credited defensive coordinator Lorenzo Ward for developing a strong relationship with him in the last couple of months.

The nation's top prospect didn't back down from the enormous expectations that will no doubt be placed upon him saying that he expects to start from day one.

Clowney becomes the second five-star prospect to sign with South Carolina and the Gamecocks' 32nd signee of the 2011 class.

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