For now, Georgia’s Josh Harvey-Clemons making his mark on special teams

While awaiting a spot on defense, Josh Harvey-Clemons is making his presence known on Georgia's special teams. (UGA photo by Evan Stichler)

While awaiting a spot on defense, Josh Harvey-Clemons is making his presence known on Georgia's special teams. (UGA photo by Evan Stichler)

ATHENS – Initially, Josh Harvey-Clemons was not at all enamored with the thought of playing special teams for Georgia.

“At first I wasn’t really going all out in it because I really didn’t want to be on it,” said Harvey-Clemons, a 5-star recruit out of Valdosta. “ I wanted to be on defense. But Coach talked it up to me. We were watching film of like the LSU game when Tyrann Matthieu ran that punt back and he was just stressing how important it is.”

Harvey-Clemons has changed his tune since then. The 6-foot-5, 215-pound freshman is a starter on three of the Bulldogs special teams units, getting repped on another, and this week was named Georgia’s special teams captain for the Kentucky game.

Being named a captain as a true freshman is a rare honor in Bulldog annals. The last to do it was linebacker Rennie Curran in 2007.

“I didn’t realize (what a big deal it was) at first,” Harvey-Clemons said. “Coach told us in a team meeting and he was saying how rare it is. I really was shocked. I didn’t have that many opportunities in the South Carolina game so I wasn’t really expecting it. I was real honored.”

On defense, Harvey-Clemons plays safety and nickelback. But his snaps there have been few and far between. But he is on the Bulldogs’ No. 1 units for kickoff, kickoff return and punt returns and lately has been getting reps on the punt team as well. He enters the Kentucky game with 8 tackles and has one tackle for loss.

“I was really proud that he was able to be named captain, which is really a statement as a true freshman,” defensive coordinator Todd Grantham said. “Special teams is a place you can play as fast as you can, then you’re out. He’s got the size, the strength. I’ve been really pleased with his progress.”

Harvey-Clemons projected as an outside linebacker or rush end when he signed with the Bulldogs out of Lowndes High. But unlike fellow signee and close friend Jordan Jenkins, Harvey-Clemons hasn’t packed on the pounds since arriving at UGA in June. He’s only about 10 pounds up from his high school weight.

Georgia is comfortable if he never gets much heavier because he has exceptional speed and shown strong potential in the secondary and also as an occasional wide receiver. But the belief is he’ll eventually grow into standout defensive player close to the line of scrimmage.

“He’s got a lot of ability,” head coach Mark Richt said. “He’s a great example of a very talented guy that just needs more reps on defense for the coaches to get comfortable playing him there on a consistent basis. But when he does, and you add another year’s worth of muscle and conditioning and knowledge, he’s going to be a heck of a football player. But if we threw him out there right now it would be tough on him, no matter how talented he is. That’s kind of what Kentucky’s been through a little bit. They’ve thrown some guys in there faster than they probably would like to do.”

With his current defensive position well-manned, Harvey-Clemons’ primary role this first season is going to be as a special teams specialist. It’s a part he is now at peace with playing.

“I talked to my granddad about it and he said, ‘Just work hard on special teams  and make plays while you’re out there while you have an opportunity to be out there,’” Harvey-Clemons said. “So I just took that to heart and try to go hard any time I get a chance to go out there on any special teams.”

That approach is working well so far.

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66 comments Add your comment

piermontdawgny

October 18th, 2012
11:53 am

piermontdawgny

October 18th, 2012
11:54 am

go after it this weekend…crush kentucky, enjoy the victory and then get ready for the gators!

G-Dawg

October 18th, 2012
12:05 pm

He’s better fit for FS…rangy, speed, good hands. Rather have him and Rambo at safety position, and move S. Willams to rover in a 4-2, with Jones and Ogletree at LB spots. Put all the beef on the line to plug the big arse holes opposing backs are busting thru for positive yards. And control the edge!!

Revamp the entire Oline while you’re at it…tired of seeing the center get blown up by huge NTs…and our LT throwing himself at the feet of opposing DEs. Beard…Lee…Burnette…Gates…Theus!! That should be your line!!

DawgFaithful

October 18th, 2012
12:34 pm

G-Dawg,

A 4-2 with a rover? You’re a idiot. That’s called a Nickel. We play it all the time. Have you ever even played football? If we put this kid in there then that means one of the proven upperclassmen comes out. The kid weighs 210 lbs. He’s 18. GA fans, please let the coaches coach.

DawgFaithful

October 18th, 2012
12:38 pm

When we play nickel, Jarvis Jones wouldn’t be an inside linebacker with Tree. He’s a pass rusher jackass. He would be 1 of the 4 in your 4-2. Herrera would play beside Tree just like he does now when we’re in Nickel. Also we don’t call it a rover… It the Star position. If you actually followed GA football you’d know that.

GTBob

October 18th, 2012
12:41 pm

Good to see that one of the latest 5 star busts at UGA is at least getting some playing time.

paint

October 18th, 2012
12:45 pm

DawgFaithful, is it really necessary to call somebody an “idiot” and a “jackass?”
Teach somebody don’t bully them.

Joey

October 18th, 2012
12:59 pm

“GA fans, please let the coaches coach.”
************************************
So said Steve Spurrier . . .

Buckshot

October 18th, 2012
1:31 pm

No busts at Tech, huh?

DirtyDawg

October 18th, 2012
1:35 pm

I keep saying this but nobody seems to be listening…and since we’ve got a hyphen-guy as captain of the ‘Special’ teams…why not add one more? Scott-Wesley should be returning punts and/or kick offs. Yeah, I know I’ve never seen him do either, but dammit there’s got to be a way to get the State’s 100 and 200 meter champion – or something close to that – on the field. Whataya say? Harvey-Clemens and Scott-Wesley…they could become the special teams version of Gurshall.

HoneyBadger Has the Munchies

October 18th, 2012
1:41 pm

Only UGA would be SIX into the season and STILL have an unproven kick/punt returner. That is why they are called Special Teams right? Have to be sound in every aspect of the game, O, D and yes….Special Teams

bill arp

October 18th, 2012
1:54 pm

DawgFaithful just made himself look like A(n) idiot, did he not? Wonder why he/she has to be so hateful anyway. Although he/she did say something I liked, which was ‘let the coaches coach’. Moving on…

I would like to see C Conley on the field a little more myself. I guess Rantavious ‘Slick-hands’ Wooten is beating him out in practice though.

Wonder how Missouri is liking this ‘Old Man Football’?

G-Dawg

October 18th, 2012
1:56 pm

Yeah…big pass rush against Tenn and SC.

Star, rover…whichever…sorry i dont have updated playbook as toilet reading material, dickhead..i know its called nickle with an extra DB in the game…if he’s not covering the extra receiver..then he lines up in the box againt the run. Basically moves all over the field. Jones is a pass rush end as outside LB in 3-4, but doesnt hold the edge and was handled easily those games, injuries or not,…need more beef on the line. Rather have him blitzing from the inside techique. You and Bobo should try thinking outside the box!!

UGA Insider

October 18th, 2012
1:57 pm

I agree with Dirty Dawg,

Surely there is someone within the program who can return a punt. Punt return team is the worst I have ever seen 30 years watching football.

GB's Hamburgers

October 18th, 2012
2:04 pm

Our coaches don’t have a great track record of utilizing the superior talent we get. So what’s new?

G-Dawg

October 18th, 2012
2:04 pm

Who’s exactly proven himself in the secondary? Swann and Commings maybe. And we have seen what coaching as done against ranked teams since 2008. Cupcakes dont mean squat!!

clock stoppa

October 18th, 2012
2:05 pm

on the morning of october 28th, reality will finally set in for the dawg fans…we really are a pretender…and the thoughts of 2013 begin…

boss dawg

October 18th, 2012
2:06 pm

bill arp- No need to go and call players names, since we are all being holy-er than thou.

G-Dawg

October 18th, 2012
2:09 pm

Richt has given up on returning any punts, ever since L. Gray was fair catching them!!

7576DAWG

October 18th, 2012
2:17 pm

When a Freshman becomes a Captain from Special Teams that tells volumes about the emphasis that Mark Richt has on Special Teams. Richt just will not accept the fact that we are losing games because of our inconsistent Special Teams play. Where are the juniors and seniors who should be lining up to take their turn as Captain.

HoneyBadger Has the Munchies

October 18th, 2012
2:19 pm

G-Dawg LMAO…that was good…Logan Gray could fait catch a punt like no one else.

Paddy

October 18th, 2012
2:33 pm

DawgFaithful……..You make some good points but you come off as a unsofisticated fan at best, trying to belittle your fellow Dawgs . We probably don’t need your kind of fandum. This is the fun time of the year and you sir, do not make me happy.

Bernie Matt

October 18th, 2012
2:33 pm

Did anyone notice that CMR compared his program to that of Kentucky. WOW!! Somebody better make a change and quick. Between CMR, Bobo, Grantham and Garner, they are going to make Vandy, Mizzou, and Kentucky our rivals, rather than UFL, UT, AUB, and perhaps BAMA and LSU. I didn’t mention USC, because they have already let them become serious rivals and we used to own them, just as Spurrier stated. This is sad.

Joey

October 18th, 2012
2:49 pm

“Star, rover…whichever…sorry i dont have updated playbook as toilet reading material, dickhead”
***************************************
Well said, G-Dawg.

And well deserved . . .

G-Dawg

October 18th, 2012
3:04 pm

Thanka kind sir!!

kingdaddy

October 18th, 2012
3:10 pm

Love JHCs attitude and his willingness to do what it takes to get on that field. I am happy for him being named Captain. Rennie was one of my favorite players. He was a hustling, hitting machine…

UGA Insider

October 18th, 2012
3:11 pm

You would think that CMR would look around finally to a coach and say..hey, let’s try and score on punt team. Especially after watching the LSU/UGA game, the Tenn/UGA and then the USCe/UGA game. By my count we gave up 28 points on those three games alone. Lucky to win one.

DawgFaithful

October 18th, 2012
3:13 pm

GDawg,

Jarvis jones is rated by Mel Kiper as the #1 pick in the draft. If he’s a pass rush end in te 3-4, Why do you think he should play inside linebacker next to Tree in the Nickel. How would he get a pass rush from there? BTW nobody calls it a 4-2. I don’t need a playbook by my toilet to know that. Bobo is calling the plays for a record breaking GA offense. We’re leading the SEC in scoring. No one has ever averaged this many points per game at UGA. Bobo is not the problem. Again let the coaches coach. You’re the typical ignorant ga fan that loves to bash the team. I hate people like you. Joey, Paddy and GTbob… GFYS!

Joey

October 18th, 2012
3:15 pm

Hey Insider, not if you think like this: “I know what the hell I’m doing.”

His ego is gonna make him unemployed.

Probably after ‘13.

DawgFaithful

October 18th, 2012
3:15 pm

Oh yeah and Bill Arp. You can GFYS too. You’re one of the bigger idiots on these blogs.

kingdaddy

October 18th, 2012
3:16 pm

Any chance JHC could play SS/FS? At 6′5″ with his speed and the way he loves to hit? Also now that Bennett’s out, could he become a possesion reciever? Just asking…

Joey

October 18th, 2012
3:21 pm

The feeling is mutual, dickhead, BUT NOBODY IS BASHING THE TEAM!

Hey Genius, explain to me how a “great coach” loses so many games 20 in the past 4+seasons, 9 blow-outs, with all the talent that goes through here?

UGA Insider

October 18th, 2012
3:23 pm

Joey,

UF has the best special teams unit in the country…that should be intertaining if you are a Gator. if we lose that game badly I think CMR should probably go. There have just been so many blow-outs the past 5 years….

Kirby Smart is the pick I hope.

clock stoppa

October 18th, 2012
3:27 pm

shaq wiggins and tunsil both to be at UF/SC game…probably a bunch of private school o-linemen watching and waiting for their uga offer this weekend…

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Joey

October 18th, 2012
3:29 pm

Oh, you’re about to be called a HATER, Insider . . .

Seriously, I’m no hater, but when the Fan-Boys pop out their 12-year stats, I break out some stats of my own.

I have no idea how they excuse the beatdowns. I can tolerate 10 wins, if we compete with everybody on our schedule, as well we should with the talent we are stocking the NFL with.

But we lose all games to ranked teams and get the hell beat out of us in half of them. And the Fan-Boys don’t mind, aren’t embarrassed . . .

DawgFanInBama

October 18th, 2012
3:33 pm

DawgFaithful…What’s with the attitude towards everyone? You are making yourself look like a moron. God forbid someone has a different opinion than you do…

clock stoppa

October 18th, 2012
3:33 pm

kingdaddy

October 18th, 2012
3:40 pm

Joey
I don’t blame you, but I’m not ready to pencil the UF game as a loss just yet. Richt hasn’t given us much to be confident about when it comes to ranked teams, but Florida has plenty of holes, some of which we will see Sat. against SC. I’m just not ready to say we can’t win that game, so I stay positive. If we lose(not when we lose), then I will spring for a couple of dozen eggs and a 4 pk. of tp…

UGA Insider

October 18th, 2012
3:44 pm

Joey,

The UGA homers are a trip for sure. They are the reason Adams just laughs his ass off to the bank every summer.

P_The_Ricker

October 18th, 2012
4:12 pm

To Kingdaddy and others not yet convinced that Richt & company just aren’t going to EVER get it done,

Ask yourself 2 serious questions.

How many times of late has UGA gone into a game against a ranked opponent and flat-out dissapointed you with effort and scheme?

Now, how many times in the last 5 seasons has UGA surprised you with extra effort or play-calling against a ranked or good team?

I still can’t believe that bobo and friend refused to double-team clowney at any point in the game. Lucky for UGA that clowney became disinterested as the blow-out became more and more apparent.

UGA has only played and beaten 1 team (TN) this year of any credibility….and that was only by 7 pts. Both UF and Miss St beat TN by double digits.

Mark Richt has now under-performed Ron Zook. UF fired zook…..UGA and too many of its fan base continue to accept mediocrity.

Joey

October 18th, 2012
4:21 pm

kd, no it doesn’t have to be a loss at all – but here’s what I see. I look at how LSU found SC’s weaknesses, and we found how many? None.

UF may have “holes,” but who’s gonna find them? That’s not negative, just my experience in watching big games for the last few years.

I’m worried about our QB’s state of mind, and I’m worried about UF’s QB – who is a bigger, faster Conner Shaw, who protects the ball in big games (A&M, UT, LSU).

You know as well as I do, that we need a decisive edge in talent to beat these top SEC teams, and we don’t have it over UF.

Can’t wait to see UF/SC. I have no idea how that will go – but UF should have an edge in the Swamp.

kingdaddy

October 18th, 2012
4:29 pm

Insider
is a “homer” a loyal Dawgfan and if so, what do you call a “RogueDawg” that bites the hand that feeds him. I am a loyal Dawgfan that is tired of all the cheapshots this team has endured lately. To call a loyal Dawgfan names like “homer” puts you into the same catagory as most Tech fans who comment on UGA fans. If I remember correctly, Joey used to be a very strong UGA supporter who would slap the taste out of most trolls mouth on a regular basis. I have criticized this staff since the SC loss without making fun of “loyal” Bulldawgs. Do you think you are above us by demeaning our hopes of redemption? I’m not sure we will win in Jville, why would I be after SC? But I’m not laughing at my teams chances of winning or trying to ridicule the team either. You a Dawgfan???

Joey

October 18th, 2012
4:32 pm

P_The_Ricker, I always like to watch the 3rd Quarter of any game, when the coaches have had time to make adjustments, just to see which HC does what, if anything. I’ve seen Bowden, PJ (against us ‘08), Jimmy Johnson, Spurrier, Saban and even Holtz (at ND) do a 180, with success, after halftime.

This is gonna get the Fan-Boys pissed, but I can’t remember the last time I saw UGA come back out with something visibly different, even if everything was stopped in the first half. It happens occasionally on D, but almost never on O.

I welcome any jog to my memory.

kingdaddy

October 18th, 2012
4:35 pm

Joey
Always liked and trusted your opinions, still do. I will even help Richt move, but I won’t abandon those kids that wear the Red n Black. Not now, not ever, and I don’t think you will either…

Joey

October 18th, 2012
4:38 pm

kd, I still defend the Dawgs, the players, against all trolls. I simply can’t ignore the ugly losses anymore, and call out poor coaching when I see it.

And UGA Insider ain’t referring to you – you know who he is talking about – those who start calling anyone with criticism of Richt, haters, idiots, etc.

What’s funny, they haul-ass when I ask questions that make them uncomfortable . . .

Joey

October 18th, 2012
4:41 pm

“Not now, not ever, …”
*************************
You are exactly right, kd.

Go Dawgs!

tell me again

October 18th, 2012
4:43 pm

I am as frustrated as many. But I also see the good. I used to have a lot to say. But now, not so much. Nobody wants to win more than our boys who workout and practice their butts off. But now, I really only get amused at some of the “fans” who think that our coaching staff would really benefit from some one on one time with them. It’s a game, entertainment. I would like to think that any UGA alumni would have better things to get upset about than a bunch of teenagers running the “foo bah” at Sanford stadium. If college football is the core of your existence ~ well, ba zing.

kingdaddy

October 18th, 2012
4:53 pm

I agree that The Three Stooges do less with more than almost any coaches in the Conference, but what if we have a positive Kentucky game because Bobo adjusts. Fla. has a good run D but a suspect secondary. What if McGarity ripped Richt and told him more diversity, change players up or around? I know, we haven’t seen it yet, but why giveup on a team that you or I could tweek a little bit to make it less predictable. How hard is it to make adjustments on the fly? Other coaches do it all the time. I do not believe McGarity wants to lose, especially to UF. If we stink-up the UF game, I will howl as loud as anyone. I ate my pride over the Cocks loss because the fatlady hasn’t sang yet. Well, she did at the Dew Drop Friday night but wait till UF/UGA, then bark or howl, I’ll be with you…

KBP

October 18th, 2012
5:00 pm

Bernie Matt. . . He compared us to Ky by saying that they are having to play some true freshmen before the staff really wants to. I don’t see that as saying we are on the same level of talent as KY. LSU had a true freshman on their offensive line last week and he held up very well.