January 11, 2012

What will JHC do?

VALDOSTA - When you are one of 14 children, it is easy to get lost in the shuffle.

When you are 6-foot-5, 210 pounds and a five star recruit, however, that statement flies out the window and getting overlooked seems like a dream come true.

Lowndes High athlete Josh Harvey-Clemons knows a little about both.

The Peach State's top player according to Rivals.com has done nothing but impress people all over the country for the past year with his instincts, athleticism, and attitude.

He and his family took the trip out to San Antonio to participate in the Army All American game last weekend, and the trip was bittersweet for everyone.

"It was really good, and I had a lot of fun with some of the best players in the world," said Harvey-Clemons. "But I got a little home sick and was ready to get back home. I had 12 family members that made the trip out there with me, and we were ready to get back."

After the game was over, he was a popular man with coaches from all of his top schools waiting to talk with him.

"Coach (Todd) Grantham and Coach (Mike) Bobo were there. Florida State, Louisville, and Coach (Brian) White from Florida was there," said Harvey-Clemons. "My top four are Florida, Georgia, Florida, State and Louisville."

Harvey-Clemons stated during the Army All-American week that Georgia and Florida were his top two, but that not be the whole story.

"Florida would probably be on top if I had to pick because I have visited there and see what they have to offer," he said. "All of the schools are right there together though without a real leader at this point."

Each school has recruited the five-star athlete differently, but they all want and expect him to come in early and make an impact on defense.

• Florida - "I know that Florida is young and really starting over this year with it being a rebuilding year," said Harvey-Clemons. "After seeing them and watching them practice, I feel like I can come in and play early there. They moved safeties to linebacker because they are so short there. I want to play early and I feel like I could get in early there."

• Louisville - "I have a great relationship with Coach (Charlie) Strong and Coach (Ron) Dugans and I feel like they are building a strong program as you saw from the linebackers that committed there from the Army game" he said. "I feel like they are going somewhere and winning a lot of games. They have also guaranteed me a starting spot."

• Florida State - "It is close to home and a lot of my boys from Lowndes are down there," he said. "Coach (Greg) Hudson is an energetic coach and seems fun to play for, and they too are building a good program down there with a lot of guys committing from the Under Armour game down there."

• Georgia - "I like Coach Grantham and like the ideas he has talked about how he wants to use me in space and stuff," he said. "I feel like I have a chance to get on the field early there too. There are a lot of players from our area there like Malcolm (Mitchell), Jay Rome, Ray Drew, and Mike Gilliard. They are all from right here in this area. They always tell me 'you are from Georgia why don't you stay here and play? If all the players in Georgia stayed home to play what kind of program would we be?' I think about that sometimes and think about representing the state. I feel like I would fit in really good with the team."

When it comes to the home state Bulldogs, they have explained exactly how they want to use the Valdosta native in their defense.

"They want me as an outside linebacker, but like in space and in coverage," said Harvey-Clemons. "They would use me to jam receivers and play in space. They also say I would get to blitz off the edge a lot too. I feel comfortable with that."

Harvey-Clemons will be the first to admit that he isn't quite comfortable at any position at this point do to the fact that he has been moved around, but he is confident that he could fit into any system.

"I don't have a home on defense yet because I have been moved around so much. I haven't been able to say 'this is my position and this is what I do best.'" he said. "I started at safety then moved down to play linebacker during the year, so I'm still learning. A lot of people say I prefer a 3-4 or a 4-3, but it doesn't really matter to me."

One of the most common recruiting clichés is that recruiting is all about relationships.

Harvey-Clemons feels that he has made plenty of relationships throughout the process.

"I'm probably closest with Coach Dugans at Louisville, but I have a good relationship with Coach Hudson at Florida State and Coach White at Florida," he said. "With the Head Coaches, I know Coach Muschamp the best and he has come to church with me a couple of times. The most impressive coach is Coach Bobo though. He is just a really cool guy to talk to and knows his stuff."

Something that is bound to make a sizeable impact in Harvey-Clemons' recruitment is his relationship with his former teammates at Florida State, but he is also close with former rivals who are at Georgia.

"I'm probably closest with the guys from Lowndes at Florida State," said Harvey-Clemons. "But I know if I go up to Georgia with those guys, that they will take me under their wing and help me out. So I'm not worried about that really."

With only three weeks left until signing day, the Georgia blue chipper mainly looking at the most important factor in his recruitment; winning.

"I want to win. That is what is most important to me," he said. "I don't necessarily want to just walk in on a winner, I want to help a team be a winner. Kind of like Georgia did this year where they turned things around. I could see myself helping a team like that or I could see myself helping a team get to that next level."

Harvey-Clemons only took one visit prior to the New Year, and now he is left to take three visits in three weeks before he makes his decision.

He will visit Georgia on January 13, Florida State on January 20, and will likely make a mid week visit to Louisville before Signing Day.

At that point, he has a good idea about when and where he will announce.

"Right now I'm thinking about announcing on a Signing Day show in Atlanta," he said. "I think it is on Fox, and I think that I could announce there."

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