Jadeveon Clowney hasn't exactly lived in anonymity at South Carolina. The sophomore superstar was the consensus #1 high school recruit in America in the Class of 2011, and has lived up to his substantial hype, racking up 21 sacks, and All-SEC Team honors in each of his two seasons in Columbia.
Yesterday, though, was perhaps the pinnacle moment of his Gamecock career. With Michigan threatening at midfield midway through the fourth quarter of a one-point game, Clowney burst through the Wolverines' line untouched, blasting Vincent Smith. Not only was the hit huge, Clowney had the instinct to make a one-handed stab at the football he jarred loose, recovering the fumble himself. South Carolina QB Connor Shaw threw a 31-yard touchdown pass on the next play, to give the lead back to SC at 27-22.
Clowney's hit has sent ripples throughout the sports world today. It has sparked topics on whether the hit would be a penalty according to NFL rules, the NFL Draft's eligibility requirements (Clowney can't leave South Carolina until after his Junior season, even though he could've been the #1 pick in April), and whether or not it was the greatest hit that we've ever seen.
It has even spawned awesome and ridiculous .gifs, such as the one below:
I don't know if it is the greatest hit in football history, but it's certainly the best from this season, and one of the best any of us have ever seen.