Josh Harvey-Clemons bringing a visitor to church? UGA’s Mark Richt

UGA coach Mark Richt is going to church on Wednesday with the state of Georgia’s top uncommitted prospect, Josh Harvey-Clemons.

Richt’s church visit will count as his in-home visit with the 6-foot-5, 200-pound linebacker from Lowndes High School. Harvey-Clemons has UGA, Florida and Florida State in a three-way tie and will announce his decision on National Signing Day (Feb 1.).

Richt, who is known for his Christian beliefs, won’t be the first college coach to attend church services with Harvey-Clemons at a small Baptist church in the Clyattville area of Lowndes County.

“[Will Muschamp] came to our regular service about a month ago; I guess Coach Richt doesn’t want to let Coach Muschamp beat him out with going to church with us,” said Josh’s grandfather, Woodrow Clemons, with a laugh.

The elder Clemons has been attending Mt. Calvary Baptist for around 50 years. It’s a popular place of worship for many former Lowndes football stars, including family members of Greg Reid (plays at FSU), Telvin Smith (FSU) and Jay Rome (UGA).

Florida's Will Muschamp (right) beat out Mark Richt to Josh Harvey-Clemons' church, attending services last month (AP)

Florida's Will Muschamp (right) beat out Mark Richt to Josh Harvey-Clemons' church, attending services last month (AP)

It created quite a stir when Florida’s coach showed up at church last month. “We gave everybody a heads up, and they were surprised to see [Muschamp],” Clemons said. “And the collection plate was equally surprised.”

Josh’s grandfather said the idea to invite the college coaches to worship was from some of the deacons. “Coach Richt liked the idea. He said he was more than happy to be there.”

Here’s a likely schedule for Richt on Wednesday night, according to Clemons: Shortly after the 6 p.m. service begins, Richt will be recognized by the minister and given the opportunity to introduce himself to congregation and make a brief statement. What did Muschamp say? “He introduced himself and said how glad he was to be there … nothing that long,” Clemons said.

After the 90-minute Bible study ends, Richt will take a few Facebook pictures and then huddle in a conference room at the church with Harvey-Clemons and his family for the rest of the night.

How important will the faith of the college coaches be in Josh’s decision? “We don’t go around quoting the Bible but we are full believers … we know that God is the reason that all these things are possible for us and Josh,” Clemons said. “It’s not important that any of the coaches come to our church, but it is important that they are believers.”

Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher desperately wanted Richt’s seat in the church pew on Wednesday night. “Coach Fisher volunteered to come to church while we were on our visit last weekend. We’d love for Coach Fisher to be there, but he can’t because it’s the same time that Coach Richt will be there. Instead we’re going to meet Coach Fisher to lunch on Thursday – probably at Cheddar’s [restaurant].”

Florida is sending a few assistant coaches to the Lowndes football banquet onThursday night. Harvey-Clemons has one official visit left to take and was undecided if it was going to be Miami or Louisville on late Wednesday night (Go here to read the story).

FSU's Jimbo Fisher wanted Richt's seat at the church pew but will meet with Harvey-Clemons at Cheddar's probably (AP)

FSU's Jimbo Fisher wanted Richt's seat at the church pew but will meet with Harvey-Clemons "probably at Cheddar's" (AP)

UGA and Florida have been the longtime frontrunners for Harvey-Clemons, while FSU caught up after last week’s recruiting trip. In fact, due to Josh’s friendships with several former Lowndes players on the team and the close proximity to Lowndes County, some are now speculating that Florida State is the school to beat in the final days.

“It went surprisingly well at Florida State,” Clemons said. “They had a lot of questions to answer. I was curious to why they didn’t pursue Josh as hard as all the rest of the schools earlier. They explained that it wasn’t from a lack of interest but that they didn’t want to get the reputation of acting like a used car salesman like a couple of the other schools. Coach Fisher wanted to get Josh down there, show him what they’ve got, and let that speak itself. We were impressed.”

How will Harvey-Clemons arrive at his decision? “We’re going to sit down as a family later this weekend, hear everybody’s thoughts and opinions, and try to guide him in the right direction, based on the pluses and minuses of each school.”

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326 comments Add your comment

clay

January 25th, 2012
3:01 am

Great…This recruiting class might end up being a disaster. If he ends up at fla st or fla. They can’t get either recruit to switch from auburn and vandy. Dalvin picks GT. Patterson picks LSU and Avery Young picks another school. It’s going to get ugly for the next couple of years after this year.

chaz

January 25th, 2012
3:01 am

I hope CMR prays for 3 more OL while he is in church.

Pirtdawg

January 25th, 2012
3:01 am

MC do you ever sleep? I’m greatful for your hard work, but get some rest. Hope Coach Richt can bring JHC to Athens, we could use his talents in the next few years.

Mike

January 25th, 2012
3:36 am

He’s a dawg people dont worry

Titletown 114

January 25th, 2012
3:45 am

This is CLASSIC Mark Richt. Pull out the “Jesus” card, kiss babies, and pray for 5* recruits. When his next trip to Hondoras? Meanwhile, Saban is pounding the streets of Atlanta only … DAYS .. .after winning the BCS to recruit Georgia’s best juniors and cutting loose commits that don’t pan out. Tireless and ruthless? Yes but that’s the difference between perennial national champs VS perennial “preseason” national champs (St. Richt and UGA). ROLL TIDE!!!!!!!

P. Bull Terrier

January 25th, 2012
4:11 am

Am I the only one cynical enough to wonder about the quote, ““We gave everybody a heads up, and they were surprised to see [Muschamp],” Clemons said. “And the collection plate was equally surprised.”

It sounds like Muschamp might have made a generous donation to the church during his visit. Now that the NCAA has closed the Cecil Newton loophole, I wonder if a college coach making a large donation to a prospect’s church could be seen as an improper benefit. I hope Richt checks to see how the NCAA would interpret a donation in the offering plate before his visit.

Stinger2

January 25th, 2012
4:11 am

Titletown 114: You can make fun of Mark Richt if you like.
As for me, a GT fan, I respect him for not hiding his being a believer and for being a Disciple for the Kingdom.

Mountain Dawg

January 25th, 2012
4:25 am

“Praise the Lord, and pass the chitlins!”

John

January 25th, 2012
5:41 am

The Tide has only been back the last couple of years or did your forget the Mike Shula, Mike Price, Dennis Franchione errors.. opps I meant eras? The Tide may have National Championships nut they are coming up short on doing it with Class….

DML

January 25th, 2012
5:42 am

How can Jimbo Fisher call Mark Richt a “used car salesman?” Jimbo, for real? Look in the mirror. He the most underachieving coach in the history of college football … OH AND HAVE FUN at Cheddar’s. Order the chicken stir fry.

Lowcountry Bulldawg

January 25th, 2012
5:47 am

FSU, “didn’t wanna act like a used car dealer”? That is a classic line, UGA coaches need to practice that one.

Baltimore Jabrcket

January 25th, 2012
5:59 am

I agree, P. Bull. On the one hand, I admire the importance of their faith and their willingness to engage recruits in places that are meaningful to them. On the other, this just feels wrong to me. At what point does the faith become simply another way to recruit and break the rules? I know this counts as the home visit but still… I was fine with everything until I read about Florida’s (apparent) donation in the collection plate, Richt’s featured role in the service, and then his team’s planned use of the church to put the squeeze on the kid. I’ve never been comfortable when politicians use churches to promote themselves–I’m,really disturbed to find out that college football coaches are using them as vehicles to pursue their agendas too.

pittsburgh George

January 25th, 2012
6:01 am

I hope the NCAA goes with them. Is this a Cam Newton situation?

Dawg Bounty Hunter

January 25th, 2012
6:02 am

Recruiting is like politics… at least Richt going to church is genuine.. because of his beliefs… Go Dawgs !!

Destin Dawg

January 25th, 2012
6:05 am

Muschamp”s ” donation in the collection plate ” is desparate.. and against the rules !

Destin Dawg

January 25th, 2012
6:06 am

Josh.. come to UGA and get coached up by Todd Grantham !!

Coach D

January 25th, 2012
6:10 am

Cynical Thought: Hope Richt “One – ups” Muschamp in the offering plate Wednesday!!! $$$$

DawgMan87

January 25th, 2012
6:11 am

I hope Richter is taking a wad of $ 100’s for the plate.

RedandBlackDawg

January 25th, 2012
6:12 am

The success of this recruiting class is hardly, solely dependent on getting this one young man. Yes he would be a nice commit, but let’s not forget, UGA has a pretty nice class right now. This young man will need to put on some mass to play LB at the college level. I realize he is a heck of an athlete, but he is still a depth get for this year, as we have a pretty solid LB corp. at the moment and he would need time to put on some muscle mass to go along with the height. Much more important I think is getting that big OL we are pursuing hard, as we need a few more of them, even though, we have 17 on board counting the three recruits we already have verbal commitments from. We have the bodies, we just need to get them ready to go, because there is not a lot of experience there. I think Coach Friend will have them ready to go for the fall.

tenn.DAWG

January 25th, 2012
6:15 am

I can’t believe Fisher would blame either his non-interest or laziness for not recruiting JHC by taking a shot at other coaches,calling them used car salesmen.Has not stopped him before.I also bet he won’t show up at a used car dealer anytime soon.

FL Jacket

January 25th, 2012
6:19 am

A used car salesman would call and sing to me on my birthday if he had the number…

Lagdawg

January 25th, 2012
6:20 am

It is amazing that Fisher brings in all of this talent but, FSU underachieves more than UGA. CMR needs to see that UGA is having a bad recruiting year and will have to step it up early for 2013. The few commits for 2013 are starting to waiver. Having problem keeping the talent level up on the O, besides the RBs. He might try hiring a new OC and that will solve that problem.

FLA gator

January 25th, 2012
6:29 am

so, in this situation it is better to not have recruited early??? or is this family enjoying the wasteful nonsense of HS football recruiting a little too much?

Buddy Landell

January 25th, 2012
6:35 am

Recruiting is an ugly game. Using religion to sign am athlete and even meeting in church. Where does it end?

pittsburgh George

January 25th, 2012
6:37 am

Playing the Jesus card again?

Navy92

January 25th, 2012
6:40 am

Looks like the deacons of that church know how to raise money. When you have a star athlete, invite the coaches to church. They have it down to a science. I guess Muschamp must have given his 10%.

Dawg48

January 25th, 2012
6:47 am

Mushchamp must have turned in his swear jar! Lol

Tampa Gator

January 25th, 2012
6:53 am

Dawg48….

Words (no matter what they are) are just sounds that come from your vocal box….with some more socially acceptable than others……and they are nothing more. But I guess some of you think Jesus is somewhere up there in the wild blue yonder recording Muschanp in his “DO NOT SWEAR” sin journal…..and I am sure Saint Richt has never said a swear word on the sidelines….yeah boy….

Josh….come to Georgia. Richt is far more holy than Muschamp! Yeah boy.

Dawg48

January 25th, 2012
6:57 am

Tampa, get off your high horse! And take a joke!

Beast from the East

January 25th, 2012
6:59 am

I don’t know about the rest if you, but I’m ready for all this recruiting madness to be over. Can’t wait until NSD.
That said……Go Gators!

rogeriter

January 25th, 2012
7:03 am

Pittsburgh George–To true believers and followers of Christ, what you call “playing the Jesus card” is just part of their Christ-centered life. It is not something you choose to use or not use. I want Georgia to win every game…but if the choice is between winning the game and following Christ, the game becomes not so important. Fortunately, Jesus does make us choose either/or.

Tampa Gator

January 25th, 2012
7:08 am

Off my high horse….here we go….

Do you think Jesus played on the defensive or offensive side of the ball for the Nasereth Tigers?

Tampa Gator

January 25th, 2012
7:09 am

or….

Oh, Jesus, here goes grandpa again!

Opps…..I just got recorded for swearing again!

JB

January 25th, 2012
7:09 am

Anyone see 9 recruits lined up to sign with Dawgs other than the 16 committed? How short will this class fall on numbers? And will filling out this class with current walkons, who will never see the field, help our dire depth situation? This state is loaded. Why can’t we fill it up with quality D 1 players? Yes, I’m aware the ones we have are great…..But I like to remember our tough fourth quarters when we’re looking around for a talented sub to put in….and we have none. I’ll wait and see, but don’t be surprised if we leave 5 or 6 spots left open.

FL Jacket

January 25th, 2012
7:11 am

rogeriter…

It’s not about Christ. It’s about using Christ as a recruiting tool in a setting where he has no business being…and that’s because of human error.

Tampa Gator

January 25th, 2012
7:12 am

Harvey-Clemons is going to be a Dawg….ignore the grandpa. Done deal, I think.

JB

January 25th, 2012
7:18 am

OK Tech, do you guys have any 2 stars types to share. They tend to play pretty good for ole Paul once they get there…….We need bodies and the headline players are gone.

1984uga

January 25th, 2012
7:18 am

I see our defense being as strong as ever next year, but our offense being somewhat anemic. Our limits will be on the offensive live & lack of depth. The inability to run the ball effectively will makes us a “pass to set up the run” offense, and alot of pressure will be placed on Murray to be flawless through the air. I’m not overly confident in Bobo’s ability to mix things up to keep top tier defenses off balance.

Did UGA have ANY gadget plays last year???

jeffrey d

January 25th, 2012
7:37 am

This is CLASSIC Mark Richt. Pull out the “Jesus” card, kiss babies, and pray for 5* recruits

He was invited to go to the church. And why bash a man for having good values, especially when it helps him relate to recruits like harvey-Clemons.

When his next trip to Hondoras?

You caveman?

Dap01

January 25th, 2012
7:46 am

Has Josh’s grandfather ever watched Muschamp on the sidelines? Has he ever read his lips during a game?

ReadTheArticle

January 25th, 2012
7:51 am

The article says Richt was invited to the church and he accepted, utilizing his official home visit to do it. Because of his faith, it makes logical sense for him to want to accept such an invitation. On the other hand, all you have to do is read Muschamp’s lips and watch his actions on any given Saturday to know that he was way out of his element when he visited the recruit’s church. Which coach’s actions are genuine and which are a stunt.

Walker, Texas Ranger

January 25th, 2012
7:53 am

Jimbo is taking him to Cheddar’s. I love Cheddar’s. If he gets the chicken pot pie, he is a Seminole

bad brad

January 25th, 2012
7:54 am

Mark Richt might be going to south GA for church tonight, but word is that today he is coming to Tyrone and Sandy Creek to see Jaquay Williams.

Blackoutanyone?

January 25th, 2012
7:54 am

Will he sing happy birthday? LOL

L A M E !!!!!!!!!!!!

Beast from the East

January 25th, 2012
7:55 am

“Has Josh’s grandfather ever watched Muschamp on the sidelines? Has he ever read his lips during a game?”

I’m sure he has. I also think he probably saw Richt call one of his own players a dumba$$ while trying to defend Grantham to the Vandy coach. And Grantham telling a college kicker to f#$&ing choke from the sideline while making a throat slashing gesture.
Works both ways, sport.

JackDennis

January 25th, 2012
8:03 am

the man is shameless

7576DAWG

January 25th, 2012
8:03 am

I just think that’s Richt walk’s the walk and talk’s the talk. I think the family can spot a fraud from a mile off and they wanted to see Mark Richt in a church setting.which is very important to Harvey-Clemons and his family. I’m sure he and Ray Drew will be very good friend’s it he go’s to Georgia.

Joey

January 25th, 2012
8:05 am

Come on, Beast, Grantham grabbed his throat in a choking gesture not in a slashing manner. The UF kicker thought it was funny.

You have to admit Will let fly a bunch of f-bombs this season, which doesn’t bother me. I like his, and Grantham’s fire.

In fact, I wouldn’t mind seeing Richt let a few fly sometime, instead of appearing comatose . . .

Beast from the East

January 25th, 2012
8:10 am

Joey,
Just stating facts in response to a couple of simpletons. Watch the video. He did it several times…..not once. Classy dude that Grantham. I won’t dent he’s done a solid job, but he seems to be just one bad play away from a Woody Hayes moment. LOL!

Paul in NH

January 25th, 2012
8:12 am

The cynicism on here is breathtaking – making the assumption that the reason for the large collection when Muschamp was at the church was due to a very large donation from CWM.
Ever thought that the church letting out the news ahead of time that Muschamp was going to be there led to a much larger congregation than normal and that led to the larger collection?