Clowney vows to repay mother after going No. 1

Fri May 9, 2014 12:01am EDT
 
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By Julian Linden

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Jadeveon Clowney looked every inch the best young prospect the National Football League has seen in years when he took his first steps into the professional ranks on Thursday.

As widely expected, the 21-year-old was chosen by the Houston Texans as the first overall pick at the annual NFL Draft and took the news in his stride.

When the defensive end's name was announced, he strolled on to the podium at Radio City Music Hall like he had been in the spotlight all his life, flashing a sheepish smile and hugged NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.

"It's the greatest feeling," he later told reporters. "It's like the pressure was relieved.

"I always wanted to play in the NFL, I always wanted to be a football player and now I've got my chance."

Standing 6-feet-5 (1.96 m) and weighing 266 pounds (121 kgs), Clowney has all the physical attributes needed to make it in the NFL.

Clowney has been earmarked for the NFL from the moment he began his college career at the University of South Carolina, developing a huge national following with his dreadlocked hair and trademark diamond-stud earrings, which he wore again on Thursday.

An All-American in his second year in 2012, setting records for sacks, he was already good enough to enter the NFL but had to wait another year under the league's rules.   Continued...

 
May 8, 2014; New York, NY, USA; Jadeveon Clowney (South Carolina) poses for a photo during the NFL Draft red carpet arrivals at Radio City Music Hall. Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports