How quickly can Demon Clowney make an impact at Ole Miss?
We turned to 247Sports national recruiting director Steve Wiltfong for his assessment.
Clowney, a four-star defensive lineman, committed to Ole Miss late Monday night. He is rated as the nation's No. 8 weak-side defensive end in the 2020 class and the No. 7 player from the state of Maryland by the industry-generated 247Sports Composite index.
"I know his high school coach really well, and they think Demon Clowney is a high upside pass rusher," said Wiltfong. "He's a guy they think has a lot of upside to him and is starting to fill out his frame. He's been a double-digit sack guy for them the last two seasons playing against a national schedule. You won't find a high school team that plays a more difficult schedule that Saint Francis and what Demon Clowney was up against. From that aspect, he's as prepared as a young man can be going into college football. People will see how a college weight program benefits him on the next level."
The 6-4, 225-pound Clowney is currently the highest-rated commit in the Rebels' 2020 pledge class.
The cousin of NFL defensive lineman Jadaveon Clowney, is it fair to compare the two at this point of their careers?
"Well, they both have sacked the quarterback before," said Wiltfong. "Jadaveon Clowney is the best high school prospect in 247Sports history. You can't compare the two."
Wiltfong offered his assessment on what Lane Kiffin and his coaching staff has done in their short time at Ole Miss. In the last few days the Rebels have gained commitments from two four-star prospects, as well as landed two premier transfers from the portal.
"They're obviously out there hustling and working hard and turning over every stone. They're showing that they can build relationships quickly. There is a lot of excitement around the Ole Miss program right now, and it's resonating on the recruiting trail," Wiltfong offered.
Can Clowney be an immediate contributor when he arrives in Oxford?
"He's a guy that I think can probably help them rush the passer right away, but to be like an every-down difference maker, he's going to need a year in the hopper...He may have to play right away. He is a guy that could potentially help them in a role as a freshman and hopefully blossom from there," said Wiltfong.
247Sports evaluation of Clowney: Ideal frame for 3-4 outside linebacker or 4-3 defensive end. Can easily carry 245 pounds. Cousin of Jadeveon Clowney. Athletic, long and quick in short spaces. Fires off quickly at snap. Bends well to win leverage. Covers large spaces in a few steps. Flexibility to dip shoulder and explode around edge. Disruptive in the backfield. Hand speed is excellent. Chases plays down from behind. Moves well laterally. Needs more upper body strength. Has to work on consistency with pass rushing technique. Must work on ability to drop into coverage. Could be an impact player. Should develop into a mid-round NFL draft selection. (Brian Dohn)