In what came as no surprise to anyone, two of the biggest prospects in College Football, Teddy Bridgewater of Louisville and Jadeveon Clowney of South Carolina have declared their eligibility for the 2014 NFL draft.
Clowney probably could have been a very high pick last year as well, but decided to stay for his Junior season, hoping to improve his standing in the mock drafts to number 1. Did he succeed? He seemed to be a consensus number one pick before the season began; however, a rough start with injuries seemed to derail his plans. However, a strong finish to the season, including an impressive game in the Capital One Bowl as the Gamecocks beat Wisconsin, means we won’t see him drop out of the top 5.
Clowney announced he’ll skip his senior season right after the game ended during his onfield interview, answering a question regarding him leaving South Carolina early and entering the NFL draft with a short yes sir.
While no one expected Clowney to stay, Teddy Bridgewater was a slightly bigger mystery, although not by much. The quarterback who has done so well with Louisville over the last couple of years, which included winning a BCS Bowl by beating Florida and followed by a 12-1 season in 2013 and beating Miami 36-9 in the Russell Athletic Bowl, thought hard about staying for a senior season and trying to go undefeated with the Cardinals.
However, knowing that he was going to be the number one quarterback on the board and the financial benefits of joining the NFL were a bit too much. Bridgewater grew up in one of the roughest parts of Miami, managing to stay out of trouble and doing very well academically before joining the Cardinals. He cited that the prospect of being able to take care of his mother financially as huge motivation to join the NFL now rather than later.
Clowney was a uninamous All-American in 2012 and a first-team All SEC selection these last couple of years, including an SEC defensive player of the year in 2012. Bridgewater leaves Louisville with 27 wins in his three seasons, ranking third in school history with 9817 passing yards and 72 touchdowns.