South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney cannot play in the NFL until he is three years removed from high school, according to NFL rules. (Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney is doing everything he can to protect himself from the risks that come with playing his junior season with potential NFL money on the line.
The 20-year-old -- who cannot enter this year's NFL draft due to eligibility rules, although many believe he would be the top pick -- has taken out the maximum $5 million life insurance policy with the NCAA "to protect against any future earnings lost to injury," USA Today's Paul Myerberg is reporting.
But the policy only covers career-ending injuries, according to ProFootballTalk's Darin Gantt, and certainly would come nowhere near covering the amount of money Clowney could lose if seriously injured.
Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel has begun explored a similar policy through the NCAA's "Exceptional Student-Athlete Disability Insurance Program."
Speaking to reporters following the Gamecocks' practice on Thursday, Clowney said that he'd bulked up 13 pounds to 273 since the end of last season and ran "something like" a 4.54 40-yard dash during South Carolina's winter conditioning.
The 6-foot-6 lineman, who posted 13 sacks for the 11-2 Gamecocks last season, also spoke about the possibility of sitting out the 2013 season.
Clowney also said he never gave any consideration to sitting out the coming season rather than risk an injury leading up to next year's draft, as some have suggested. "Sitting out? I never thought of it. I'm going to go to school and play." The insurance policy is merely protection in case he missteps on the road to the 2014 draft.