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Steve Spurrier on Jadeveon Clowney's work ethic: 'It was OK'

Jadeveon ClowneySouth Carolina's Jadeveon Clowney had a lot of hype, but he was disappointing in 2013.  (Scott Halleran/Getty)

Jadeveon Clowney might have some work to do off the field -- at least according to his former college coach.

South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier told the NFL Network on Wednesday that Clowney wasn't the hardest-working player on his college roster.

“It was OK,” Spurrier said, when asked about Clowney's work ethic. "It wasn't like Marcus Lattimore, you know, every player is a little different. But when the ball's snapped, he's got an explosion like you've never seen before."

As Clowney prepares to become a potential top-five pick in the upcoming NFL draft, critics have pointed to his lackadaisical attitude off the field as a possible road block to becoming a successful pro. After an October game against Kentucky in which Clowney did not play, Spurrier made headlines when he told reporters, "If [Clowney] wants to play, we will welcome him to come play for the team if he wants."

But Spurrier was not just critical of Clowney on Wednesday. The Gamecocks' coach made it known that Clowney still has all the tools necessary to succeed at the next level.

"Jadeveon Clowney has been here three years," Spurrier said. "I think the biggest thing you can say right away is we've won 11 games three years in a row since he got here. In high school, his team won a state championship ... so he's been a winner as well as being the most dominant defensive player on the field all the time. Even though his production this year wasn't near what it was last year, he had two or three guys waiting on his just about every play."

SI.com's Don Banks projects Clowney as the third overall pick in his latest NFL Mock Draft.

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