Clowney lands 'Sports Illustrated' cover - FOX Carolina 21

Clowney lands 'Sports Illustrated' cover

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GREENVILLE, SC (FOX Carolina) -

He's the player behind what's now simply known as "the hit," and some are calling him the next Heisman Trophy winner with the chance to be the No. 1 draft pick when he leaves college football.

As defensive end for the University of South Carolina, Jadeveon Clowney has earned honors and recognition, including his most recent one featured on the cover of a popular magazine.

Sports Illustrated has featured Clowney on its regional cover for a recent issue. According to the article, fans and analysts are impressed with his speed and aggressive tackles.

And at a place many call Gamecock Country in Greenville County, guests were again singing Clowney's praises Tuesday night.

When guests walk into Rendezvous Sports & Spirits, they get ready for a Gamecock affair with fans who love the University of South Carolina, especially football.

"This is the best the Gamecocks have ever been football-wise," Wilson Riley said.

He is a fan and said when you talk college football, you also talk about Jadeveon Clowney.

"He's an amazing player," Riley said.

And his impressive stats and national acclaim received more praise after "the hit."

"It was the biggest hit I've ever seen," fan Ray Lewis said.

It came in the fourth quarter when South Carolina took on Michigan in the Outback Bowl. Clowney hit a player so hard, the player fumbled the ball. The Gamecocks later scored and won the game.

"Cream rises to the top; he's obviously at the top," Lewis said.

Not only is Lewis a Gamecock fan, but he is a Clowney fan too.

"If anybody deserves it, he does," Lewis said.

Now that Clowney has tackled the cover of Sports Illustrated, some are calling for him to win the Heisman Trophy next season.

"He's already got my vote for the Heisman this year," George Rogers said.

Rogers, a former South Carolina running back, is the only Gamecock to win the Heisman and said Clowney deserves the honor.

"Undoubtedly, he's one of the best football players in college football today," Rogers said.

And fans said Clowney's cover of Sports Illustrated is good for South Carolina football. Two other Gamecocks have graced the cover of the popular sports magazine.

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