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South Carolina's Jadeveon Clowney says he didn't practice hard last season

South Carolina's Jadeveon Clowney is considered to be a Top 5 pick if he declares for the NFL Draft. (Getty Images)

Jadeveon Clowney is Getty Images)

South Carolina All-American defensive end Jadeveon Clowney has been widely criticized for his lack of production this season, although he is still considered to be one of the top prospects in the NFL Draft should he forego his senior season of eligibility.

He admits that his practice habits were lacking last season, but is doing everything he can to improve.

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"My practice habits have picked up way more than they did last year," Clowney said to the New York Times. "Last year, I really didn't practice real hard. This year, I came in with a different mind-set, like I want to be that guy, I want to have no flaws in my game."

“I don’t have nothing to prove,” Clowney, who had five tackles in the Gamecocks 27-24 upset over Missouri on Saturday, said. “They keep doubting — we’re going to keep winning. Let them keep doubting us. That’s all I can say. It’s a team sport.

“For all what people think about me — I just want to win with my team."

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Clowney also said he is still dealing with a painful rib injury that caused him to miss one game this season.

"It still bothers me a lot," Clowney said. "But I keep that to myself."