Columbia, SC (Sports Network) - South Carolina star defensive end Jadeveon Clowney could miss the team's season opener against North Carolina because of a shoulder injury.
Gamecocks coach Steve Spurrier said Clowney sat out Monday night's practice.
"Right now Clowney has a bruised shoulder," Spurrier said. "If it doesn't come around real soon we may play without him the first game."
The Gamecocks and Tar Heels will meet in Columbia on Thursday, Aug. 29.
Clowney is already considered the top NFL Draft prospect heading into his junior year. He is the reigning Hendricks Award winner as the nation's top defensive end and last year finished sixth in the Heisman Trophy balloting.
In just two seasons for the Gamecocks, Clowney ranks fifth in school history with 21 sacks -- eight shy of the record. He set a Gamecocks single-season mark for sacks last year with 13 and tackles for loss with 23 1/2.