Rivals Crossover Series: 2011 No. 1s, Jadeveon Clowney vs. Austin Rivers
The Rivals Crossover Series is a weeklong look at some historic figures in football and basketball, merging our two sports into one storyline.
In this piece, national football recruiting director Mike Farrell and national basketball analyst Eric Bossi look at the No. 1 player from each sport and compare their national influence and success. Here we look at the class of 2008.
MORE CROSSOVER SERIES:
The top 10 football-basketball combo prospects
The top 10 football-basketball combo schools
No. 1 vs. No. 1 (2003): LeBron James vs. Ernie Sims
No. 1 vs. No. 1 (2004): Dwight Howard vs. Adrian Peterson
No. 1 vs. No. 1 (2005): Gerald Green vs. Derrick Williams
No. 1 vs. No. 1 (2006): Greg Oden vs. Percy Harvin
No. 1 vs. No. 1 (2007): Michael Beasley vs. Jimmy Clausen
No. 1 vs. No. 1 (2008): BJ Mullens vs. Terrelle Pryor
No. 1 vs. No. 1 (2009): John Wall vs. Bryce Brown
BASKETBALL - Austin Rivers
Bossi’s take: The son of former NBA player and current Los Angeles Clippers coach Doc Rivers, Austin Rivers was a controversial pick at No. 1. Headed to Duke – where he was All-ACC and the ACC Freshman of the Year – Rivers could play, but picking him over habitual NBA All-Star Anthony Davis was a bold move at the time.
After a season at Duke, Rivers was taken 10th overall by the New Orleans Pelicans (who selected Davis No. 1). Since then he’s carved out a nice career as a role player while averaging just over nine points per game during eight seasons in the NBA.
FOOTBALL: Jadeveon Clowney
Farrell’s take: Clowney is still the best player I have ever scouted on the high school level as his snap anticipation and get off was unlike anything I’d seen. He dominated when he wanted to in college, became the No 1 overall pick and has had a very good NFL career aside from injuries. He needs to be accounted for on every snap.
Winner: While Rivers has had a respectable career, Clowney and his three Pro Bowl selections is the easy call on this one. Though he’s fought injuries, he’s a proven force and among the best at his position when he’s on top of his game.