Gamecocks' Clowney to start vs Arkansas if healthy

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WACH/AP) -- South Carolina All-American Jadeveon Clowney will start if he's healthy Saturday when the 14th-ranked Gamecocks travel to Arkansas.

Gamecocks defensive coordinator Lorenzo Ward made the announcement Thursday after Clowney successfully finished a second straight day of practice. He missed workouts earlier this week with a strained muscle near his ribcage.

"He's practiced two days in a row and I think he's getting better every day. He's doing everything in his power to be ready to play," said Ward. "I think he'll play, based on what we've seen the last two days. He's gotten better. He's still getting a lot of treatment and he will continue to get treatment, but I think he'll play.

Clowney pulled himself from last Saturday night's game against Kentucky a short time before kickoff, which upset South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier. That led to questions about whether the 6-foot-6, 274-pound lineman was fully committed to the Gamecocks or if he was protecting himself for next spring's NFL draft where he's considered a top prospect.