As college football’s top defensive end, Jadeveon Clowney has received a lot of phone calls lately – some of them from friends who are concerned about his professional future. Analysts say the Gamecock player would be the No. 1 overall pick in this year’s NFL draft if he were eligible, a coup that would secure a compensation package of around $22 million. As other top players know all too well, the one thing standing between Clowney and that kind of money is injury. And while Clowney has no plans to take his friends’ advice and sit the season out, he is being cautious. He recently signed up for the NCAA’s “Exceptional Student Athlete Disability Program,” which permits qualifying athletes to take out a loan to help finance the cost of a disability insurance policy. Between 75 and 100 athletes take advantage of the program each year, most of them football players. Clowney wisely went for a $5 million policy, the maximum amount allowed, which will cost around $30,000 for the year.

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