South Pointe defensive end Jadeveon Clowney and Stallions coach Bobby Carroll are the only South Carolinians participating in this year's Under Armour All-America Football Game.
They have become media darlings as writers for newspapers, television stations, radio station internet sites seek them out each day in Orlando, Fla., at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex.
Clowney is among the 88 players from across the nation selected for the game and has been putting on quite a show this week, according to Carroll.
"Every day when we go out and get through, people treat Clowney like he's a rock star,'' Carroll said. "The want to interview him, take pictures of him, have pictures taken with him and ask him to sign just about anything they have.
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"The other day a guy drove up while were walking to practice and had a whole stack of pictures from when we played Independence he wanted signed. I told Clowney he didn't have time, that there were so many he'd be late for practice.''
It's not surprising that Clowney is getting lots of attention.
At 6-foot-6, 250 pounds, he is this years most sought-after recruit. Clowney hasn't decided where he will go to college, but his list has been trimmed to five: Alabama, Clemson, Florida State. LSU and South Carolina. Wherever that may be, there's a good chance Clowney is bringing help.
"There are three or four other guys on our team here that are still undecided like me,'' Clowney said. "We've been talking a lot and they are telling me they either want me to go where they go or they want me to come with then. We could all end up at the same place.
"The best player I've seen is on our team is Cyrus (Kouandjio, 6-foot-7, 325 pounds from DeMatha Catholic Md.) a big guard who is going to Texas. I have to go against him every day at practice and he's the best high school lineman I've ever seen. We have a lot of good players on both teams, the best in the country. I've held my own.''
The teams are split into to 44-player squads, the Red and the White. Clowney is playing for the Red and Carroll is coaching the linebackers. The teams will board a bus today and drive to St. Petersburg, where the game will be played at Tropicana Field at 7 p.m. It will be nationally televised on ESPN.
Clowney's last football game was the Class AAA state championship on Dec. 4. He said the biggest obstacle for this game has been three consecutive hours of practice each day.
"But we are having fun and it's exciting to be on the field with all of these national players,'' he said. "They are bigger and faster than any players I saw in high school. But just being here and the only player from my state, I'm going to play my hardest to represent the people back home well.''
Carroll attended the game in 2008 when two of his players, South Carolina Gamecocks defensive backs Stephon Gilmore and DeVonte Holliman played. But coaching in it, he said, is a lot different.
"I don't know if I've worked this hard in a long time, but I love it,'' he said. "My head coach is Steve Mariucci. The White team coach is Mike Ditka. It's been fun being around them, talking football with them and watching them work You can tell they are football coaches.
"The linebackers I'm coaching, in 28 years I've never seen studs like them. Two (Trey DePriest, 6-foo-2, 220 pounds and Vinnie Sunseri, 5-foot-11, 202 pounds) are going to Alabama, one (Ryan Shazier 6-foot-2, 200 pounds) to Ohio State, one (Lawrence Thomas, 6-foot-3, 230 pounds) to Michigan State and one (Travis Hughes, 6-foot-1, 225 pounds) to North Carolina. All five of them get after it.''