The Houston Texans made it official Thursday night, by taking Jadeveon Clowney, the giant, athletic pass rusher from South Carolina, with the No. 1 pick in the NFL Draft.
Clowney will now be sided-by-side with All Pro J.J. Watt on the line and should form one of the most dangerous pass rushes in the league. Clowney has been salivating at the prospect of being next to the former defensive player of the year, and already started issuing warnings to quarterbacks like Andrew Luck of AFC South division rival Indianapolis, according to Yahoo sports.
"[Luck's] got to be just ready," Clowney said on Wednesday. "He's got to have his head on a swivel. I'm coming. And I know J.J. is coming. Everybody will be after the quarterback."
At 6-foot-6, 265-pound, the native of Rock Hill, S.C. is a unique blend of massive size and flash-like speed. He runs a 4.5 in the 40-yard dash, which is faster than some running backs. He had 27 career sacks and 47 tackles for loss as a Gamecock, despite often being double and triple teamed.
Many in the NFL believed he would've been the No. 1 pick last year after his sophomore season, and some believed he would've gone first the year before, too, if not prohibited from entering the draft by league rules.
Before the draft, Clowney told gogamecocks.com that being drafted first would mean a great deal to him.
"It would mean a lot," Clowney said. "It would mean they felt like I was the best player in the draft for them. I'd be excited about that."
Clowney told reporters yesterday that he was inspired by this year's Super Bowl, when it comes to understanding the importance of defense, and good defensive players.
"I think defense wins championships," Clowney said. "You saw it this year in the Super Bowl with Seattle and Denver, they got after the quarterback, they got Peyton Manning shook up back there and defense won the game for them."
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell announced the selection at 8:15 p.m. in Radio Music Hall. The Clowney family was joined in the green room by South Carolina Defensive Coordinator Lorenzo Ward awaiting the announcement.