January 17, 2012

Harvey-Clemons opens up

VALDOSTA - Being a five-star prospect comes with a lot of expectation, and Lowndes athlete Josh Harvey-Clemons knows it.

Harvey-Clemons is the top-ranked player in the state of Georgia, and is also one of the top uncommitted prospects in the entire country.

Despite the pressure and expectation for the five-star recruit, Harvey-Clemons believes he has the ability to turn it all into a positive.

"It makes me feel good and I'm excited to be a five-star recruit," Harvey-Clemson said Tuesday morning in an interview at his school with UGASports. "It just means you have to live up to it, really. That's what I'm trying to do with whatever school I do go to. I want to make a name for myself. I feel like I have something to prove with the expectations. I don't want to go somewhere and just not show what I can do."

The pressure, however, isn't always so welcome for the Valdosta native.

"When I left Georgia this weekend, I had like 50 missed calls and I just turned my phone off, really," said Harvey-Clemons. "It gets aggravating at times."

Harvey-Clemons took his official visit to Georgia on Friday, and he received quite the personalized welcome.

"I went up to UGA on Friday with my Nana, Granddaddy, and brother," he said. "The first thing we did was eat, and they had pork chops, which is my favorite. I think they read it in our game magazine. They were real good. I think I gained a little weight while I was there."

Harvey-Clemons took an unofficial visit to Georgia for the South Carolina game earlier year and spent plenty of time with his area recruiter, Mike Bobo.

This visit, however, was a chance for the blue chip prospect to have some face time with a few more UGA coaches.

"I spent most of my time with Coach Bobo and Coach (Todd) Grantham, really, "said Harvey-Clemons. "I spent a lot of time with Coach (Mark) Richt too, but most of my time was with Coach Bobo and Coach Grantham."

With a two full days to spend with the UGA staff, Harvey-Clemons came away impressed with each coach.

"Coach Grantham was excited, really," he said. "He was excited about what would happen if I go there. He showed me exactly what I'll be doing and how it is what I have been doing at Lowndes. He showed me film of what we do and showed me how it would be the same at Georgia. I liked that. He knows his stuff. Coach Bobo and I just talked about how I fit in with the Valdosta guys up here and just random stuff. Coach Richt is just a really nice guy too. He is really calm and laid back."

In an interview with UGASports last week, Harvey-Clemons stated that the Georgia staff had explained exactly how they want to use him in their defense, but this visit was an opportunity for the Peach State star to learn even more about his possible role.

"They really showed me how I can play in space and cover running backs," he said. "I've never rushed the passer much because we don't blitz much at Lowndes, but they want me to do that some and I feel like can get that too."

At 6-foot-5 and 205 pounds, there had been some speculation in the recruiting would about Harvey-Clemons needing some time to put on weight, but it appears that the Georgia is confident in his ability to see the field right away.

"They told me that I wouldn't be redshirting," said Harvey-Clemons. "He told me I would have a chance to get on the field early and that was up to me. I was worried about putting on weight, but they told me I would be fine by the time I got there."

As a freshman, there is always a possibility that a player may be used on special teams, and the Valdosta native has no problem with that prospect.

"I feel like I can play special teams," he said. "This year I didn't play special teams because I was on offense and Coach wanted to give me a break, but I think I can play it. I don't mind it at all."

No matter what school the five-star athlete attends, he will be looking forward to the challenge that awaits him at the next level.

"I would love to go against the best," said Harvey-Clemons. "I like being challenged. I like seeing how far I can push myself against competition. Like going to Texas and playing against the best and another opportunity to go and prove myself at the next level."

According to the Harvey-Clemons, that challenge could be on both sides of the ball if he attends UGA.

"They were just saying that they would give me a chance to prove that I can play offense," he said. "If I can, they would have some plays in there for me like (Brandon) Boykin and a couple of other players. They want me catching touchdowns and jump balls and stuff like that. I just have to get there and prove that I can play offense first."

Overall, Harvey-Clemons gives the entire visit to the Classic City high marks.

"I would rate the visit a 9," he said. "It was a really good visit and I had a lot of fun. I learned a lot. I had a lot of fun with the players and you would be amazed at how many people up there are actually from Valdosta. Everyone we were around up there were from down here. I didn't even know half of them were from down here. It seemed like a really good team, and they are close like a family. Everybody just wants to win."

When Harvey-Clemons spoke with UGASports last week, he said that he would consider Florida to be his leader since he had taken an official visit there already.

Now that he has visited UGA officially, it appears that the Gators have company at the top of his list.

"I feel like they (Georgia and Florida) are the two schools that I have seen and until I see other schools, those two are on top right now," he said.

The other two schools that Harvey-Clemons is considering, Florida State and Louisville, are set to get visits from the top prospect in the Peach State, and he insists that those two are still in the thick of things.

"I'm going to Florida State this weekend," he said. "I have a basketball game on Friday so we are going there after the game on Friday. I'm just looking to see what the school has to offer because I haven't been down there this year. I went my junior year to a couple of games but I didn't visit the school. I haven't scheduled the visit to Louisville yet, but I'm probably going to go on January 27."

Harvey-Clemons knows that he wants to make his decision on Signing Day, but has yet to make plans on how to announce.

Until that time comes, the blue chip prospect is going to focus on the positives of the pressure and expectations that are placed on him.

"When I think about it, I'm honored to be in this position," said Harvey-Clemons. "It is a good problem to have."

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