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Saturday, August 3, 2013

Clowney no stranger to Stowers

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Some football fans might need to look up the pronunciation of college football’s most famous defensive lineman, South Carolina’s Jadeveon (juh-DAY-vee-on) Clowney, but Kansas D-lineman Keon Stowers is not among them.

Stowers has been friends with Clowney, whose big hit against Michigan from last season is closing in on four million views on Youtube, as long as he can remember. He doesn’t need to pronounce Jadeveon because that’s not what he calls him anyway.

“Our childhood name that we gave him was Doo Doo,” Stowers said. “When we were little we were in the swimming pool and he doo-dooed in the swimming pool. Ever since then, we’ve called him Doo Doo. I love hanging out with those guys when I go back home. We’re real tight.”

Back home is Rock Hill, S.C., a town rich with football talent.

Clowney projects as the possible No. 1 pick in the 2014 NFL Draft and poses a serious threat to Johnny Manziel’s Heisman Trophy defense. The 6-foot-6, 274-pound Clowney was clocked in the 40-yard dash recently in 4.46, good speed for an NFL wide receiver, freakish speed for a D-lineman.

“Take a guy from small-town Rock Hill, living in the ’hood, we were in poverty, so taking a guy like that from our circumstances and putting him into mainstream America and making him a household name, we were worried about if he was going to be able to hold up,” Stowers said. “He did and I’m proud of him.”

Stowers and Clowney teamed together in youth football, but a new school was built and when the school-district lines were drawn, Clowney’s address sent him to South Pointe High, instead of Northwestern, where he would have gone.

Clowney’s selection in the 2014 draft will make it three consecutive seasons an athlete from Rock Hill will go in the first round. The Buffalo Bills selected cornerback Stephon Gilmore 10th in 2012. Wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson, Stowers’ cousin, went to the Minnesota Vikings with the 29th pick in the 2013 draft.

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