Clowney and fans 'score' at Gamecock's spring game
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP/WCIV) - The most watched player at South Carolina got just one play at Saturday's spring game.
Gamecocks coach Steve Spurrier had all-American defensive end Jadeveon Clowney run the coach's annual pass-to-someone-coming-off-the-sideline play.
Clowney, wearing sneakers, shorts and no pads, caught the pass from freshman Connor Mitch, but awkwardly slipped as he turned for the end zone. However, the referee "missed" him hitting the ground, and Clowney threw the ball in the stands after the 54-yard touchdown.
Another player, corner back Victor Hampton, was acting as punt returner when he caught the ball and ran with it. Even though the ref killed the play to avoid a tackle, Hampton kept running and slipped on the turf. Instead of getting back up, he rolled around on the field jokingly getting laughs from the crowd.
Spurrier has always taken a breezy attitude to his spring game. There are no real rosters and the defenses are limited to basic coverages.
Despite the lack of real drama on the field, fans filled the stands and flocked to the tailgating area for Fan Fest. Crowds started showing up at Williams Brice Stadium as early as 8 a.m. for tailgating contests, cornhole tournaments and live music.
After the game, fans stormed the field for photo ops, field goal attempts and a chance to see the team's trophies up close including the Outback Bowl trophy, the Heisman won by George Rogers and Clowney's newly acquired Ted Hendricks award.
Spurrier says if his team works hard, they can build on back-to-back 11-win seasons and again contend for a Southeastern Conference title.