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Jadeveon Clowney: 'I will be back on the field' for South Carolina

Jadeveon Clowney Clowney has come under fire after unilaterally holding himself out of South Carolina's game against Kentucky. (The State/MCT/Getty Images)

Jadeveon Clowney spoke to reporters on Tuesday for the first time since Saturday's game against Kentucky, where South Carolina's star defensive end sparked controversy after telling coach Steve Spurrier that he wouldn't play just before kickoff. Spurrier would not elaborate on the decision in the postgame press conference, simply saying that the team was prepared to play without Clowney if necessary.

At his weekly media appearance on Tuesday, Spurrier said of the situation, "We all handled it poorly, all of us did."

After South Carolina's practice on Tuesday, reporters asked Clowney if he regretted his actions from the weekend. ESPN's SportsCenter replayed the interview during its 6 p.m. broadcast.

"Do I regret it? No, it was just really a miscommunication. I should have handled it differently instead of just telling [Spurrier] like that, you know. It was a miscommunation."

[...]

"I don't care. There's a lot of people talking, but that's what people do. It's something they just want to talk about. I'm just sitting back laughing about it. I know my situation with the team. We're just trying to look for a big year.

"Regardless of what people say, I've been behind my team my whole life. I dedicate myself to this team and this university, that's why I chose to come here."

Clowney said he holds no ill will toward Spurrier after the coach's postgame comments, which some viewed as critical to Clowney.

"He's really competitive, and he was upset with the way we won the game, so he was just saying stuff. So it's alright."

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Clowney said the bruised ribs that kept him out of Saturday's game against the Wildcats are still affecting him. He said he's still "questionable" for this weekend's game against Arkansas.

"I can't really run. I can't run right now ... It bothers me when I really try to run or do quick moves.

"There's no timetable. It's just an injury that we'll have to wait and see how I feel about it."

Clowney is projected as a near-certain top-five pick in the 2014 NFL draft. During the offseason, rumors swirled that Clowney might sit out the 2013 season to prevent injury, but reiterated his commitment to South Carolina after the weekend's events.

"Regardless of what people think, I'm here. I didn't sit out. I could have sat out. I'm not looking to sit out. I'm not that type of guy. I'm here with the team, I'm here to work with the team.

"I'm in college. I'm playing for this university right now. I'm still in college, so I'm gonna do that. We've got Arkansas coming up, that's what's on my mind right now.

So has Clowney played his last game as a Gamecock?

"No, I haven't played my last game. I will be back on the field. I don't know how long it will be [until then], but I will be back playing."
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