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Ex-coach defends Jadeveon Clowney's work ethic, says DE 'plays hard all the time'

Jadeveon Clowney work ethic: Ex-coach defends South Carolina DE Despite concerns about his work ethic, Jadeveon Clowney is considered the top DE in the draft. (Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

There's no denying Jadeveon Clowney's skills on the field, but what about his work ethic? Many have questioned it, including South Carolina head coach Steve Spurrier who previously suggested Clowney's overall drive was just "OK."

Spurrier eventually backtracked (somewhat) from that remark, but questions have continued to linger about Clowney's desire to to be great, including one anonymous scout who claimed Clowney was "spoiled" and "lazy."

But that's not something South Carolina defensive coordinator Lorenzo Ward is buying.

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"It doesn't offend me because I know JD [Jadeveon Clowney], and I know all this talk about JD being lazy and all this talk about him not playing hard, I know all that is motivating him," Ward told ESPN.com in reference to Clowney. "And I know JD because I coached the kid and I recruited him, and that's not who he is. JD plays hard all the time."

"I never had an issue with him. If anything, you had to slow him down," Ward said. "There were days that Coach [Steve] Spurrier would have to tell us to take him off the field or they weren't going to get anything accomplished on offense. And that's the truth because they couldn’t get a pass off on him."

Ward went on to say that Clowney is "highly motivated," and Ward believes he'll be extremely successful in the NFL. He did suggest, however, that the potential No. 1 pick will have to spend more time studying his opponents as "he didn’t have to do that a lot in college."

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