Josh Harvey-Clemons has signed with UGA … How will it affect national rankings?
The Josh Harvey-Clemons’ recruiting soap opera is over. He got his grandfather’s signature on Thursday morning and turned in the scholarship papers, one day after committing to UGA in front of a national TV audience.
You can read extensive coverage of Harvey-Clemons, how everything went down, and UGA’s reaction in this blog by the AJC Chip Towers. (Click on story link)
Now let’s get back to the Big Picture for UGA with some of the recruiting experts:
What did it mean for Georgia for Josh Harvey-Clemons to finally sign with them a day later?
- Scout.com’s Chad Simmons: “It caps it off … I guess the cherry on top today with some drama. Yesterday, it seemed like they were going to get off to a good start at 9 o’clock in the morning [when Harvey-Clemons committed on ESPNU] – and I guess they kind of did with the commitment. But until the LOI is signed, nothing is official, as we all know now. This really caps it off well for Georgia. I’m sure they wish they could’ve landed a kid like Avery Young [signed with Auburn] or JaQuay Williams [Auburn] or someone else. But getting Josh Harvey-Clemons out of Lowndes is a big deal after seeing guys like Greg Reid and Telvin Smith go to Florida State. They’re going to have big-time players in the future at Lowndes and this is only going to help them down the road.”
- 247sports’ Rusty Mansell: “That was a big way to end this class. You’ve got to keep those roads open to South Georgia. It was a big deal. After what Georgia has done with Malcolm Mitchell and Jay Rome last year, and started with Brice Ramsey for next year, South Georgia is pivotal for Georgia. This is big to keep the momentum going.” [Note: Brice Ramsey is the 2013 QB from Camden County who committed to UGA last summer. In an interesting development, Ramsey tweeted that he was offered by Alabama last week.]
- Rivals’ Mike Farrell: “It means a restful weekend for Georgia’s coaches. We went through this last year with Cyrus Kouandjio committing to Auburn and then waiting through the weekend to make a decision and then flipping to Alabama. I’m sure the Georgia coaching staff is relieved … He’s the No. 1 player in the state. Moving forward from the ‘Dream Team’ last year, Georgia got the No. 1 player this year. Next year is absolutely loaded in the state of Georgia. Perception-wise and momentum-wise, this is huge. This sends a message of the kids in 2012. Hey this Harvey-Clemons kid stuck with us and we’re building something special.”
- Me: “You can debate endlessly on whether Jordan Jenkins, Todd Gurley, Keith Marshall, John Theus or Harvey-Clemons was the No. 1 recruit from this class. However, there’s no doubt that Harvey-Clemons was the most important recruit for UGA for 2012 – from the standpoint of public relations and the general public’s perception. You and me — we are ‘die-hard’ followers of football recruiting on a year-round basis. It never ends for us. However, for mainstream America or 80-percent of college football fans, they don’t really zero in on recruiting until national signing day or the day before. And to see a kid put on a UGA baseball cap while smiling at ESPN cameras, and then to have him not sign – it would’ve been a public relations nightmare for UGA. We’re talking disastrous effect, no matter if Avery Young, JaQuay Williams, and Cordarelle Patterson all had picked the Bulldogs on Wednesday. Harvey-Clemons became THE recruiting story when he didn’t sign on time. Had he flipped, it would’ve looked bad for Georgia to the mainstream audience when they were tuning in and watching every move. Fortunately for Mark Richt, it turned to be good news. Now UGA supporters can go tell their friends that ‘the one who almost got away, didn’t get away, after talking with his grandpa.’”
What about the team rankings? Before Harvey-Clemons officially finished the paperwork, UGA was ranked No. 5 by ESPN, No. 6 by 247Sports, No. 12 by Scout, and No. 19 by Rivals. Will UGA now move up in the national rankings since Josh has signed?
- Scout.com’s Chad Simmons: “They are probably going to be around the same for Scout. Even though Josh hadn’t signed, he was still counted toward Georgia as a commit from a rankings standpoint by Scout. It really doesn’t adjust it too much for us … I think from an overall Georgia standpoint, I think they’re going to be somewhere in the 10-15 range when all the letter-of-intent are in and the dust settles.”
- 247Sports’ Rusty Mansell: “Georgia finished up No. 6 in the country for us, which was a very good class. We kept Josh counted toward Georgia because he was committed there until we knew otherwise. So basically, he was still there. Georgia finished No. 6, and I felt that was a good job, considering all they had going against the staff early with 0-2 start and other rumors. It was a good finish by their staff.”
- Rivals’ Mike Farrell: “We had them at No. 19 and we’re still updating them. It’s probably not going to push them near the top 15. It’s not a big class. It’s not going to be a top 10 class in any way, shape or form. I’ve categorized it as a good class. Last year’s class was a great class. They’ve filled some needs at running back and defensive line especially, and the offensive line work was very good … Probably a top 15 class.” [Note: After Rivals updated its database, UGA bumped up to No. 11 overall in the rankings]
- Me: “In our AJC team rankings, we now have UGA and Georgia Tech tied for first, with Georgia State trailing at No. 3.” [Note: We don't do team rankings at the AJC]
RELATED: Justin Taylor and his coach blast Alabama and … did you hear about the same kind of thing happening between the Crimson Tide and a defensive lineman yesterday? (Click on story link)
– By Michael Carvell, AJC Recruiting Blog
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