The wait is over, Gamecocks fans: Jadeveon Clowney has chosen South Carolina over Clemson and Alabama. I can honestly say that I was fully confident that this would be the case all along. Clowney made it suspenseful by allowing Nick Saban and Dabo Swinney to court him, but much like Marcus Lattimore last year, this one from the beginning was likely as close as you can get to a foregone conclusion when you're dealing with such a highly rated prospect. As for why Clowney amped up the suspense over the past two weeks, all we can do is speculate. The generous side of me wants to believe that he did it to play to the feeling of rivalry between Carolina and Clemson. Clowney has undoubtedly made himself a villain with the Tigers faithful, which is cool with me.
And make no mistake, this is likely going to be remembered as a watershed moment in the rivalry as well as the larger history of USC's program. If Clowney ends up being as good as advertised, we're going to remember this day for a long time. It's great for the program's image. USC was on display and looking good for a national audience today. Clowney and USC are currently on the front page of ESPN.com and will be the day's most significant story in sports. The announcement ceremony was nationally televised. These kinds of moments used to be rarities for Carolina, but they've been more and more common over the past few months. When we beat Alabama and Florida and Lattimore and Alshon Jeffery were becoming household names, I said that the exposure we were receiving would bolster this program's profile and recruiting to our continued benefit. Clowney's signing is another one of those types of moments.
There's going to be a lot of news coming out today about Clowney, and I'll update the following link dump over the course of the day.