Josh Harvey-Clemons: Not your typical recruiting trip with UGA’s Mark Richt

The recruiting trail can lead to some unusual places for college football coaches.

Some of UGA coach Mark Richt’s visit with recruit Josh Harvey-Clemons was briefly at a Valdosta jail on Wednesday night when the 5-star prospect had to help his grandfather with his bail bonds business. The 6-foot-5, 200-pound linebacker from Lowndes High School is ranked as Georgia’s No. 1 prospect by ESPN and lists the Bulldogs, Florida and Florida State as his leaders.

“I’m sure this was an experience that Coach Mark Richt will never forget,” said Josh’s uncle, Roy Hart, with a chuckle. “Coach Richt said ‘I can’t wait to read the headlines about this one.’”

There are never-ending surprises on the recruiting trail for all college coaches, including Mark Richt (AJC)

There are never-ending surprises on the recruiting trail for all college coaches, including Mark Richt (AJC)

Here’s the surreal story from a couple of Josh’s family members: The evening got off to a normal start for Richt. He was in Valdosta to make an “in-home” visit with Harvey-Clemons and give his final sales pitch for the Bulldogs before next week’s signing day.

Richt reported to Josh’s house and rode on a golf cart for about a mile to Mt. Calvary Baptist Church with the 5-star prospect’s grandfather, Woodrow Clemons (he’s also the legal guardian after the death of Josh’s parents). They met with about 20 of Josh’s family members and close friends over dinner, and Richt talked at length about why Harvey-Clemons should select UGA.

The group moved over to the church’s sanctuary for the 7 p.m. service, and Richt’s presence caused a little commotion among the congregation. “I guess 60-percent recognized him and the other 40-percent didn’t believe it was Coach Richt from the University of Georgia,” Clemons said.

In the middle of the church service, Clemons got a business call. He’s the co-owner of a Bail Bondsman’s service in Valdosta, and three people needed a get-of-out-jail card immediately. Clemons quietly got Josh’s attention and explained the situation, eventually dispatching his grandson and daughter – who are both bail bond agents – to do the prison job.

“I told Coach Richt ‘Josh has to go to jail and get somebody out. You can go with him or stay here until he gets back,’” said Clemons, who added that Richt initially decided to stay.

“My kids are at the age where they have to work and do something. They’ve got to start learning about the real world. And with being bond agents, they can pick up the ‘fear’ of going to jail … Josh understood he had to go do this. I own the business and one day Josh will own part of it, so he knows the responsibilities that come with it. And it definitely beats working at Walmart or a hamburger joint.”

AJC Super 11 DE Josh Harvey-Clemons is an Honor student and nephew to three school principals (AJC)

AJC Super 11 OLB Josh Harvey-Clemons is an Honor student and nephew to three school principals (AJC)

This is where it gets more interesting: “My daughter called because she happened to leave her ID in the van at church,” said Clemons. The ID was needed to post bond for the clients. “Coach Richt and Coach Bobo went to jail with my wife to take the ID to them. Coach Richt wanted one more time to talk with Josh before they hit the road. They talked at jail for about 20 or 30 minutes I guess.”

Richt returned to the church with Josh, gave out hugs and handshakes, and had a question while walking out the door. “Coach Richt said ‘Tell me Roy, how do we look with Josh?’” Hart said. “I said ‘Coach, you’re in the running. Nobody really knows except for Josh. He’s not saying much. He hasn’t made up his mind so nobody knows except for him.’ Then Coach Richt asked if Georgia was still looking good and if they still had a opportunity to get him. I assured him that they did.”

Note: Harvey-Clemons switched his final official visit from Louisville to Miami this weekend. “Louisville said if they weren’t in serious consideration, maybe we shouldn’t come there, and we agreed on that,” Hart said. “We talked to Miami on Tuesday and we’re excited about going down there. They have great academics and Ray Lewis is supposed to be on campus this weekend. Josh is excited about meeting one of the all-time football greats.”

SINCE YOU LAST LEFT YOUR COMPUTER …

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– By Michael Carvell, AJC Recruiting Blog

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302 comments Add your comment

JT

January 26th, 2012
2:56 am

And here come all the UGA players-jail jokes. Though I have to admit when I first saw the headline I thought it was about Sanders Commings.

Crimson Crush

January 26th, 2012
3:01 am

WOW … already experienced in the world of bail bond agents … this guy is a MUST get for Jawja ! ;-)

NH Gamecock

January 26th, 2012
3:06 am

You right Crimson lol he can go get his teammates out of jail hahahahaha.

clay

January 26th, 2012
3:10 am

Heard he is probably going to Florida or Florida St. This isn’t looking good for the recruiting class. We might fall out of the top 20 real fast after signing day. Just because all of the other recruits are probably going else where.

7576DAWG

January 26th, 2012
3:17 am

This guy was raised right. Has a strong moral or church background and is being taught good business sense. Sure hope he come’s to Georgia. Very impressive. .

Crimson Crush

January 26th, 2012
3:22 am

Plus he can help track down your other players if any of them jump bail .. Win / Win

GT4ever

January 26th, 2012
3:30 am

Congrats Mark Richt. Harvey-Clemons ought to be your #1 ALL TIME recruit. When Sanders Commings, Isaiah Crowell, Ken Malcomb, Caleb King, Cornelius Washington, Washaun Ealey, etc etc etc etc and his teammates get in trouble late at night, you’ll have a FIVE STAR BAIL BONDSMAN in the dorms to help out 24/7. Josh Harvey Clemons is an instant MVP candidate in Athens. Go ahead and retire his jersey.

childrojc

January 26th, 2012
3:33 am

harvey-clemons needs to bail UGA out of this 2012 recruiting class flop

hugedawgfan

January 26th, 2012
3:33 am

Or post bond for Dre Kirkpatrick!

childrojc

January 26th, 2012
3:37 am

he will go to the crimi-NOLES !!!!!

Crimson Crush

January 26th, 2012
3:37 am

Dre’s agent handled that with his pocket change ;-)

childrojc

January 26th, 2012
3:40 am

UGA needs to put this kid on lock down !

Crimson Crush

January 26th, 2012
3:43 am

I know you can’t give a recruit a jersey with his name on it . Would it be a violation to give him a tee shirt that said “Official Bondsman For UGA Athletics” ?

Crimson Crush

January 26th, 2012
3:45 am

How about a few dozen with ” I went to church with Mark Richt and all I got was this lousy Tshirt” ?

Had enough

January 26th, 2012
3:46 am

Need a big week.For uga.

Jon D

January 26th, 2012
3:47 am

Maybe it’s just me, but couldn’t they have waited until church was over? Seriously, if someone is at jail calling for a bondsman/bondswoman, they aren’t going anywhere. Let ‘em wait or better still have them come back to church with you. Chances are, it would do them good.

59bulldawg

January 26th, 2012
4:34 am

Hmmm! I don’t know what to think. Either Pops sent his grandson in his place because he knows the kid isn’t coming to Athens or it was some kind of test. Don’t discount the Greg Reid connection at FSU. I really hope he plays for the red and black next season but I also hope he’s not playing Richt. Perhaps that is why Richt asked at the end where we stood. I don’t feel very confident about this one right now.

steverino

January 26th, 2012
4:43 am

Read the headline and figued that CMR was just “eliminating the middle man”.

Marine Jacket

January 26th, 2012
4:55 am

@Jon D

The answer is no. When someone is ready to post bond/bail the licensed bondsman has to report. If it were you would you want them to wait.

Also, if you are keepinp up with the former sheriff in Clayton county he is about to sue over the bondsman not posting his bond. I doubt that’s a headline you or coach Richt want.

Go Jackets

felix the cat

January 26th, 2012
5:31 am

Yea we could sure use his expertise at Georgia … Both on and off the field!! Go Dawgs!

Nate the Great

January 26th, 2012
5:37 am

I agree with 59bulldawg. CMR wouldn’t have asked about where they stood if he felt good he wouldn’t have asked. He can read the writing on the wall. When your gut is telling you something, and CMRs apparently did, it’s usually right

13-1

January 26th, 2012
5:50 am

Come-on article, writen as a come-on article. Not big on that.

DOG2

January 26th, 2012
6:18 am

crimson crush you better worry about your own team,,,Dre (DRUG) Kirkpatrick ring a recent bell?

DOG2

January 26th, 2012
6:19 am

NHgamecock….Steven Garica ring a bell, your program is far from clean!

2,000 lbs of grade A b_tthurt

January 26th, 2012
6:20 am

@any DRE reference: he is no longer enrolled at ‘Bama, so you’ll need to look elsewhere for jail analogies. ROTFLMFAO at dawg recruiting strategy: send your thugs to us, sez CMR! RTR!!,!

Nate the Great

January 26th, 2012
6:22 am

Josh does seem like a great kid with his head on straight. I really do hope he comes to Athens but I think he’s going out of state. Goodluck with a tough decision Josh.

Destin Dawg

January 26th, 2012
6:25 am

Josh.. come to UGA.. be an Instate hero.. we have the QB’s… kids that stay In state.. close to support groups.. friends and family.. do better in school and life after sports.. Go dawgs !!

Bulldog Proud

January 26th, 2012
6:28 am

Boy, you after midnight crowd sure do know a lot from reading a well written article. 7576Dawg is about the only poster with a really credible response. Would love to see you at UGA Josh, but it is your life and you need to go where you feel most comfortable. The Dogs don’t have a ton of committments ala Alabama, however the ones they do have are top quality and Coach Richt has learned with experience and has the program going in the right direction. (He does need to work on his offensive co-ordinator’s play calling however)

[...] Whatever else you might say about Mark Richt and Mike Bobo on the recruiting trail, you can’t say they won’t go the extra mile trying. [...]

Golden White

January 26th, 2012
6:36 am

He’s a lock for Georgia. There is more business to be had at UGA for the satellite office of the bail bonding service than at the other schools. Except maybe FSU. Could be a toss-up.

Dawg on the Bayou

January 26th, 2012
6:38 am

@ Clay – you are a poser, not a DAWG. Quit using the word “WE” when making your disparaging comments about how our recruiting class will be ranked after signing day. If you think we will be out of the top twenty – you are out of your mind.

Destin Dawg

January 26th, 2012
6:50 am

Clay is a techie with no life

Destin Dawg

January 26th, 2012
6:55 am

Josh.. come to UGA and get coached up by Todd Grantham.. we need LB’s in the 3/4 defense.. Go dawgs !!

Reality Bites

January 26th, 2012
6:56 am

This recruit will be a precious commodity at Ga, as his services OFF the field are sorely needed…..rolfamo.

slydog

January 26th, 2012
7:00 am

Seems to me like Crowell needs Woodrow Clemons in his life. I would sure hate to speculate, but Georgia has this kid in the bag already.

slydog

January 26th, 2012
7:04 am

@Jon D

January 26th, 2012
3:47 am

Maybe it’s just me, but couldn’t they have waited until church was over? Seriously, if someone is at jail calling for a bondsman/bondswoman, they aren’t going anywhere. Let ‘em wait or better still have them come back to church with you. Chances are, it would do them good.

I must excuse you because you statement was made out of a little bit of ignorance. Are you of the belief that everybody in jail or charged with a crime deserves to be there? What if you didn’t do anything but the police decided to arrest you anyway? And yes it does happen every hour on the hour in this state. If I knew I didn’t do anything wrong and one of my family members just paid you money or put up property to get me out, then you better be on your damn way right then and there. Plus, in my experience, I have never, ever, witnessed anybody being released immediately after a bond has been paid. 2 hours was the fastest, unless you had a lawyer and lots of cash upfront.

slydog

January 26th, 2012
7:07 am

And for everybody else’s information, I am willing to bet 95% of UGA’s football players do not possess the assets in order to secure a county to county bond in order for JHC to even perform the bond… Add that to your little jokes.

5 star thug squad

January 26th, 2012
7:09 am

Hasn’t he been recruiting jails for years? No news here.

5 star thug squad

January 26th, 2012
7:12 am

Destin Dawg

January 26th, 2012
6:55 am
Josh.. come to UGA and get coached up by Todd Grantham.. we need LB’s in the 3/4 defense.. Go dawgs !!

Yeah…and those great halftime adjustments Toad makes. Only 42 with LSU and 33 with MI State. hahahaha

S Commings

January 26th, 2012
7:14 am

HEY! I was in jail too!

GDawg

January 26th, 2012
7:15 am

Beat that Jimbo.

Tampa Gator

January 26th, 2012
7:26 am

The recruiting stories for this kid just get increasingly strange. The family appear to be headline grabbers. Maybe the grandpa set this one up to get another big story written about his grandson…..and himself.

TennesseeDawg

January 26th, 2012
7:28 am

Funny to see all these pathetic Tech nerds parading as fans of some other school.

ugaStinksLike....

January 26th, 2012
7:30 am

He put the Thugga back in ThuggaU…..

13-1

January 26th, 2012
7:32 am

Mark Richt is spending his time on recruiting with only 6 days left, on a player for OLB, when we have 12 players on Defense for 2012 who will go on to the NFL after the 2012 season, including every starter. Even with all that, the 3 secondary positions are backed-up by only 2 players for a Nickel package. Missouri, of course, has 67,000 seats, will have 55,000 to all other games besides against us, has out-done us with a :

20. .7000 at 56-24 Missouri last 6 seasons
21. .6835 at 54-25 Georgia last 6 seasons

And, figures to run the ball with their running Quarterback and running backs, all returning for 2012. They don’t have defense, or special teams and graduated the majority of their team, otherwise.

Mark Richt, sir, we need :

OL
SECONDARY

Midtown Dawg

January 26th, 2012
7:33 am

I think it is a good story and the kind of story that folks talk about in a small town and builds affinity to a good man like Richt.

JB

January 26th, 2012
7:33 am

Everyone but Dawg fans have blogged on here that he’s headed to Florida. It’s closer to home than Athens and that Muschamp has made some “desperate” promises. We’ve got some good players committed, but this year looks to be ending weak. Dawgs have 9 spots to fill and not a word about bodies to fill them. I’m hoping for the best, but filling this class out with walkons who will never see the field does not help our depth.

5 star thug squad

January 26th, 2012
7:35 am

“Funny to see all these pathetic Tech nerds parading as fans of some other school.”

Hey goober! There are fans at other schools….with the same theme, they hate your over rated, over hyped little team.

tbomachine

January 26th, 2012
7:35 am

NH Gamecock

January 26th, 2012
3:06 am
You right Crimson lol he can go get his teammates out of jail hahahahaha.—- and your coaches. go dawgs

Jimmy Crack

January 26th, 2012
7:37 am

5 star thug squat, what’s your school, boy? More likely you are just another anonymous JERKER without a competitive school to root for. Tech perhaps? Not Bama, they have more class than what seepage is coming out of your little brain.