Houston (CBS Houston) – NFL teams go to great lengths to study up on potential draft picks, including talking to their former college teammates. As the Texans scout South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney, it would be logical to talk to second year safety D.J. Swearinger. Swearinger played with Clowney at South Carolina and still keeps up with his former teammate.
“The general manager said he wants to talk to me about him, but we haven’t talked yet,” Swearinger said. “We will be talking.”
He plans on lobbying for his former teammate when he sits down with Rick Smith, but Swearinger won’t be playing the role of hype man.
“I’m going to be 100 percent truthful about it because it’s a big decision.” Swearinger said.
Swearinger and Clowney were together for two years in Columbia, SC and still keep in close contact. In fact, Clowney has been texting his former teammate to find out if he has any idea about which way the Texans are leaning.
“He asks me every day like, ‘bro what’s the word?'” Swearinger said. “I’m like, it’s all in your hands. You got to do what you got to do for these next three months to make them pick you.”
Clowney’s junior season didn’t live up to lofty expectations. He came into the year as the prohibitive favorite to be the first overall pick, but he only tallied three sacks. As his production declined, questions about his work ethic and love for the game picked up.
“He has a heart for the game, a love for the game and you can’t pass that up if you ask me.”
Another piece to the puzzle is new Texans strength and conditioning coach Craig Fitzgerald, who was at South Carolina from 2009-2011.
“That’s sort of somebody that kept (Clowney) straight.” Swearinger said. “It would be a huge asset getting Clowney because Fitzgerald always stayed on Clowney about everything and had him working at 100 percent.”
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