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Feb. 14, 2011

The South Carolina Gamecocks have received the National Letter of Intent (NLI) from defensive end Jadeveon Clowney, the consensus No. 1 player in the country, the school announced Monday.

Clowney, a 6-6, 245-pounder from South Pointe High School in Rock Hill, S.C., was named USA TODAY’s National Defensive Player of the Year and “Mr. Football” in the state of South Carolina. He tallied 162 tackles, 29.5 sacks, 29 tackles for loss, 11 forced fumbles and six fumble recoveries, and scored five touchdowns on defense while leading his team to a 13-2 record and a runnerup finish in the state playoffs as a senior. He also rushed 20 times for 274 yards and nine touchdowns in spot duty as a running back for head coach Bobby Carroll.

Following the senior season, Clowney earned a spot on the prestigious PARADE All-America team. He played in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl in San Antonio’s Alamodome, in the Under Armour All-American Game in St. Petersburg, Fla., and in the Shrine Game of the Carolinas. He also graced the cover of the Feb. 7, 2011 edition of ESPN the Magazine.

Clowney, who also plays basketball at South Pointe, logged 144 tackles with 23 sacks and a pair of blocked kicks as a junior. The Stallions posted a 38-6 record from 2008-10, including winning the 2008 state title.

Clowney was regarded as a five-star prospect and the nation’s top high school player by and was named their national Defensive Player of the Year. He was considered a five-star recruit and the nation’s top player by He was the No. 1 prospect in the nation according to 247Sports and was considered the nation’s top player by PrepStar magazine, while earning first-team All-America accolades by MaxPreps and He was also rated as the No. 1 prospect on ESPNU’s 150.

He was offered by many schools and selected South Carolina from a final list that included Clemson, Alabama, LSU and Florida State.

Clowney becomes the 32nd and final member of the Gamecocks’ 2011 recruiting class. Four of the student-athletes are already enrolled at South Carolina and do not count against the 28-player limit. He becomes the third straight “Mr. Football” in the state of South Carolina to sign with the Gamecocks, following in the footsteps of Stephon Gilmore and Marcus Lattimore.