The worst-kept secret in all of college football is out: Jadeveon Clowney is going pro.
The South Carolina defensive end confirmed in an on-field interview immediately after the Gamecocks' 34-24 CapitalOne Bowl win over Wisconsin that he would forego his final season of eligibility to enter the 2014 NFL draft.
When asked if he was headed for the NFL, Clowney kept his response short: "Yes sir."
Clowney is considered a likely top-five pick in the upcoming draft, which will take place in May at Radio City Music Hall. The 6-6, 275-pound junior had 35 total tackles (10 1/2 for loss) and three sacks in 2013 for the 11-2 Gamecocks, one year after posting 53 tackles, (23.5 for loss) and an NCAA-best 13 sacks.
His drop-off in production was largely due to an increase in double-teams and chips on his side of the line, though though he did miss two games due to injury. Some in scouting circles have questioned Clowney's commitment and work ethic, but his rare combination of size, speed and power should translate very well at the next level.