Gamecock Jadeveon Clowney's fame began in Rock Hill - FOX Carolina 21

Latest Scores, Headlines and Analysis

Growing Up Clowney: USC DE's fame began in Rock Hill

Posted: Updated:
Jadeveon Clowney's fame began on the football fields of Rock Hill. Jadeveon Clowney's fame began on the football fields of Rock Hill.
ROCK HILL, SC (WIS) -

In the sports media world, this summer was clearly the Summer of Jadeveon Clowney.

After winning an ESPN award for 'The Hit,' making waves at SEC Media Days, and being the subject of a Bill Brasky-esque profile in the New York Times, Clowney appeared to be the picture of humility when compared to the sports world's other object of affection, Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel.

And that humility all started with his upbringing in Rock Hill, South Carolina, a town sandwiched between Columbia and Charlotte.

If you looked at Clowney's stature and the way he plays, you might say he was born to play football.

But according to his mother, Josenna Clowney, football didn't even enter her son's life until he was 6 or 7 years old.

"People was saying he was bigger than anybody else and that he was going to be good," said Josenna. "But when it really hit was around the 10th or 11th grade."

That's where former South Pointe High School coach Bobby Carroll had the chance to coach the boy up from raw talent to award-winning defensive end.

"We kinda looked at him like, maybe he's just an adult who's lost and walking through a school to cut through to a neighborhood because the school was between two neighborhoods," said Carroll. "We, of course, went up to him and asked him his name, then all of a sudden the light went off and the bells started ringing: Hey, this is a freshman football player of ours."

Clowney's legend grew at South Pointe quickly. By the time his senior year came around, he was the consensus number one recruit in the entire nation.

After months of heavy recruiting from the likes of Alabama, Clemson, and South Carolina, Clowney settled on the Gamecocks on his birthday in 2011.

If Clowney's play at South Pointe gave him fame, his play at South Carolina and 'The Hit' at the Outback Bowl has given him legendary, almost mythical status.

Clowney is now in his final year with the Gamecocks. In his swan song season, he has the opportunity to prove to the NFL he is worth the first overall pick in the 2014 Draft.

But in the end, his mother still thinks of him just as that big kid from Rock Hill.

Copyright 2013 WIS. All rights reserved.

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Two men killed in Spartanburg Co. crash

    Two men killed in Spartanburg Co. crash

    Monday, April 21 2014 6:33 AM EDT2014-04-21 10:33:49 GMT
    A Spartanburg man was killed after crashing his car on the road he lived along early Sunday morning, according to the Spartanburg County Coroner's office. Coroner Rusty Clevenger said the single vehicleMore >
    A Spartanburg man was killed after crashing his car on the road he lived along on early Sunday morning, according to the Spartanburg County Coroner's Office.More >
  • Moped driver dies from injuries after crashing into oncoming vehicle

    Moped driver dies from injuries after crashing into oncoming vehicle

    Sunday, April 20 2014 9:03 PM EDT2014-04-21 01:03:52 GMT
    A Boiling Springs woman who drove her moped into oncoming traffic on Wade Hampton Boulevard earlier this month, passed away from her injuries Sunday, according to the Greenville County Coroner.More >
    A Boiling Springs woman who drove her moped into oncoming traffic on Wade Hampton Boulevard earlier this month passed away from her injuries on Sunday, according to the Greenville County coroner.More >
  • update

    11-year-old killed in Pendleton crash

    11-year-old killed in Pendleton crash

    Sunday, April 20 2014 8:00 AM EDT2014-04-20 12:00:21 GMT
    Troopers with the SC Highway Patrol and the Anderson County Coroner's Office are investigating a deadly car crash in the Pendleton area. Troopers said the crash happened on Cherry Street Extension nearMore >
    Troopers with the SC Highway Patrol and the Anderson County Coroner's Office are investigating a deadly car crash in the Pendleton area.
    More >
Powered by WorldNow
Fox Carolina
Powered by WorldNow CNN
All content © 2014, WHNS; Greenville, SC. (A Meredith Corporation Station) and WorldNow. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.