Brady Hoke: Anybody, including Jadeveon Clowney, can be blocked 1-on-1
TAMPA, Fla. -- South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney respects Taylor Lewan's game, but expects to have success against him in the Outback Bowl on Tuesday.
Michigan coach Brady Hoke expects to have success against Clowney, the nation's best defensive end this season, although knows it won't be easy.
Clowney leads the country in sacks (13) and is third in tackles for loss (21.5), and says the only two teams that were able to slow him -- LSU and Tennessee -- needed special packages to do it. He would be the No. 1 overall selection in the NFL draft, if the sophomore were eligible, according to ESPN's Mel Kiper Jr.
But Hoke believes the All-American can be handled.
"Anybody can be blocked one-on-one," Hoke said. "How long you block him is the key. I think the guy plays with a really good motor, or he wouldn't be the player he is. You can have all the talent in the world, and the range, but it's what the guy plays with, motor-wise, and I think he does a nice job of playing with that."
Lewan was an All-American himself this year, and was named the Big Ten's offensive lineman of the year. He is projected as a top-15 draft pick if he declares for the NFL, a decision he says he is closing in on but won't reveal until after the season.
That offers a tantalizing matchup between two of the country's most elite linemen, although Lewan continues to stress the Outback Bowl is about South Carolina and Michigan, not Lewan and Clowney. But the latter is the matchup everyone is anticipating and Lewan is looking forward to that challenge.
"He does so many things right," Lewan said. "He does the one thing every defensive player needs, and that's a knack for the ball. He has great instincts and knows how to get to the ball.
"His technique, fundamentals -- everything he does -- is tremendous. And his athletic ability? Not many people have that."
Hoke says he could also offer Lewan some help in handling Clowney.
"Whether it's doubling him, or chipping him, or single-blocking him, or play-action and cutting, whatever you want to do, you've got to execute it," Hoke said. "There's got to be a timing presence to all your pass game."
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