All-American defensive end Jadeveon Clowney is working hard so he can play this week against Arkansas, South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier said Tuesday.
Spurrier said he will know later in the week if Clowney has recovered enough from his injury to play on Saturday.
"Jadeveon has a muscle strain near his rib area that caused him to miss the game last week against Kentucky. He was in pain," Spurrier said Tuesday. "It was diagnosed later, and obviously we all handled it poorly, all of us did."
Spurrier says if Clowney doesn't play another down for the 14th-ranked Gamecocks, the junior has made a tremendous impact on the program.
Clowney (6-foot-6, 274 pounds) surprised his coaches last Saturday against Kentucky when shortly before kickoff, he said he was in too much pain to play. There was speculation that Clowney was finished for the season to make sure he doesn't hurt his potential No. 1 pick status in next year's NFL draft, but Spurrier doesn't believe Clowney is done.
"Let me say this about Jadeveon, if he never plays another snap, we all should be thankful and appreciative that he came to South Carolina," Spurrier said. "We've won 26 games, two 11-2 years, the greatest seasons we've had in 120 years. So none of us need to be upset at Jadeveon. None of us."
Spurrier said he has spoken with Clowney and is confident the junior is committed to finishing the season on the field.
"I'm all for Jadeveon and his future," Spurier said. " When he is ready to play we're going to put him out there. He has been coming to treatment, I think, twice a day and told me he is doing everything he can to try to get ready to play."