Steve Spurrier endorses Jadeveon Clowney as the No. 1 overall draft pick

South Carolina Gamecocks defensive end Jadeveon Clowney (7) is congratulated by head coach Steve Spurrier after a 33-28 win against Michigan in the Outback Bowl at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida, on Tuesday, January 1, 2013. (Gerry Melendez/The State/MCT)

During the past year, there have been some questions about the relationship between South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier and his former defensive end Jadeveon Clowney as Spurrier hasn’t always had the kindest things to say about his former star player.

But during the Dan Patrick Show on Thursday, Spurrier went to bat for Clowney and endorsed him as a solid No. 1 overall pick in the NFL draft.

"I think you have to (draft Clowney)," Spurrier told the Dan Patrick Show when asked what he would do in the Texans’ position. "If there was an Andrew Luck, if he was available, I think you'd have to consider a guy like him. But it seems like all the quarterbacks, everybody has their favorite quarterback. Who knows who is going to be the best? So maybe the sure pick would be Jadeveon."

Well, several pundits aren’t sold and have questioned Clowney’s work ethic. It probably didn’t help that he sat out of a game last season without Spurrier knowing until kickoff, and that Spurrier said former running back Marcus Lattimore, who suffered a knee injury two seasons ago before declaring for the draft, had a much better work ethic.

But in recent weeks, Spurrier has backtracked on all of those comments and has been essentially campaigning for Clowney to be the first player off the board.

"He didn't have to play last year. Can you imagine being the No. 1 pick, whether you played or not? That was the position he was in," Spurrier said. "... Most players, to be the No. 1 pick, they have to have a super junior year or senior year ... and they vault themselves into that No. 1 position. He was already there. He had nowhere to go but down. So it was very unique."

Spurrier’s push for Clowney shouldn’t come as a huge surprise. A first-round draft pick is great for South Carolina recruiting and Spurrier going to bat for him also sends a good message to recruits.

There are still two weeks to debate which player the Texas will/should take with the first pick, but there’s definitely no shortage of options — or people pushing for their favorites.

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Graham Watson is the editor of Dr. Saturday on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email her at or follow her on Twitter Follow @YahooDrSaturday