August 9, 2012

JHC embraces move

Some were surprised, but Georgia freshman Josh Harvey-Clemons saw it coming.

As he readied himself for fall camp, despite working hard in the weight room, he knew he hadn't put on enough weight to play down in the box and mix is up in the box in Todd Grantham's 3-4 scheme.

That is why when the Georgia defensive coordinator told him a couple of days before fall camp that he would be moving to safety, it came as no shock.

"I really didn't mind. I was going to play where they wanted me to play," Harvey-Clemons said. "I knew myself that I wasn't at the right weight to be down there with those big tight ends and tackles, and I know that's the same thing that happened with Tree (Alec Ogletree). It really wasn't a big surprise. I was just ready to play."

Taking the same route as Georgia's star inside linebacker, Ogletree, is something that Harvey-Clemons is still cautiously optimistic will happen.

"I hope. If I can put on the weight," he said. "I want to be at least 240, or somewhere up in there or somewhere close."

The former five-star recruit, who currently weighs 208 pounds, didn't see any snaps at the safety position during the first spring scrimmage on Wednesday, but did see time at a position Grantham tabbed him for during his recruitment.

"I just played nickel (star)," said Harvey-Clemons. "I had talked with Coach Grantham and he had already talked to me about the 'star' position. It is basically the same thing I did in high school in the beginning of the year. I didn't really move to linebacker until the middle of the season in high school. It really wasn't that big of a change."

The transition from high school to college has been an eye-opening experience for the former top player in the Peach State.

Learning multiple positions is challenge, but something Harvey-Clemons believes is certainly doable.

"I mean, I am taking it and learning it pretty well right now, but it is a lot," he said. "Coming from a 5-2 to a 3-4 is a big difference. I'm trying to learn it (safety) and the star position too, so I'm getting the basic concepts right now.

On National Signing Day, Harvey-Clemons and his grandfather and guardian, Woodrow Clemons, had a highly publicized battle when Clemons refused to sign the star prospects letter of intent.

Everything was settled the next day, and now Harvey-Clemons says that his grandfather is as excited as anyone that his grandson is a Bulldog.

"He is loving it now as a matter of fact. He was up here Monday for our first practice," Harvey-Clemons said. "He had on his Georgia gear and every thing. He's excited. I think he is a little more excited than I am, but really he was just worried about the drive and being able to come see me as much.

At this point in fall camp, Harvey-Clemons has bounced back and forth between the free and strong safety positions, as well as seeing work at the 'star' position in nickel sets, but that hasn't stopped him from noticing what his fellow 2012 signees have been doing in front of him at the outside linebacker position.

"I know I've seen Jordan (Jenkins) and (Josh) Dawson make some big hits at practice," he said. "They are really working. Especially Jordan with being able to handle those guys as a freshman, and Josh Dawson just making hits like that just coming in, I can't wait to see what it is going to be like in the next couple of years."

According to the Lowndes product, he saw the potential of prospects like Jenkins, Dawson, and James DeLoach, and that is the reason he wanted to be a Bulldog in the first place.

"That is what I was telling people. I felt like Georgia was the fit for me because of the type of guys I was coming in with and the type of team that it is," Harvey-Clemons said. "The team, we basically have the same mind set and we are going to take it somewhere good."

The Valdosta native says that he is currently in the best shape of his life, but that is about as far as he will go when patting himself on the back.

When asked about having four interceptions thus far in spring practice, it would be hard to imagine receiving a more modest response.

"I don't know," he said. "I was just in the right place at the right time I guess."

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