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Odds drop on Clowney signing

After snatching up top recruit Jadeveon Clowney the South Carolina Gamecocks have already seen their stock rise on the college football futures.

A week ago the Gamecocks were near the middle of the pack on the college football futures at Bovada at 50/1. After the addition of Clowney the Gamecocks shot up the college football odds list and currently sit at 35/1.

So why is the addition of one player so important? Take a look at Clowney's pre-college resume. At the age of 18 Clowney is 6-foot-6, 247 pounds, and according to some experts already has the strength and skill to play in the NFL. Last season the mammoth defensive end recorded 162 tackles, 29.5 sacks, and five defensive touchdowns.

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He also had 20 carries at running back and rumbled for 274 yards and nine touchdowns. To put it mildly, Clowney is a beast on the gridiron.

The Gamecocks are coming off their first SEC East title thanks to a strong offense. That offense is expected to be explosive again this season with QB Stephen Garcia, wideout Alshon Jeffrey, and RB Marcus Lattimore all returning. South Carolina's biggest weakness last season was their defense, which ranked seventh in the SEC and was heavily exploited in losses to Auburn, Arkansas, and Florida State.

If Clowney can help the defense improve the Gamecocks should become legitimate national title contenders.

Although the addition of Clowney rocketed the Gamecocks up the college football odds list they're still far from the top of the pile. The national championship favorites for next season are still Oklahoma at 15/4. Landry Jones returns to quarterback what should still be a strong Sooners offense, while a defense that was No. 4 in the Big 12 retained most of its key parts.

Joining the Sooners on the top of the current college football futures list are Alabama (11/2) and Florida State (10/1). Even though they missed out on Clowney the Crimson Tide had one of the best recruiting classes in football this season. They're going to need freshmen and backups to step up with so many skilled players - such as Greg McElroy, Mark Ingram, and Julio Jones - moving on.

The defense remains mostly intact and should be strong enough to allow the offense to find its way early on next season.

The Seminoles appear to be ready to retake their old position as a national powerhouse. With eight starters returning on both sides of the ball the Seminoles have the playmakers to be the team to beat in the ACC. They've also been handed a favorable schedule with most of their toughest opponents getting the unenviable task of journeying to Florida State next season.