JHC: 'I'm 100 percent Georgia'
Linebacker quashes rumors fueled by delay in sending in letter of intent
Linebacker Josh Harvey-Clemons (Valdosta, Ga./Lowndes) announced live on ESPNU Wednesday morning that he would attend the University of Georgia, choosing the Bulldogs over Florida and Florida State.
However, the 6-foot-4, 215-pound ESPNU 150 prospect also told ESPN's DawgNation that his family preferred Florida due to it's proximity to their Valdosta, Ga., home.
As of 3 p.m. ET Wednesday, his letter of intent had yet to be received in Athens, fueling speculation that he might be wavering.
However, when reached on the phone, Harvey-Clemons reiterated that nothing had changed with his decision.
"I am 100 percent Georgia," Harvey-Clemons said. "I just have to finish my paperwork and send it in. It might be tonight or tomorrow."
Later Wednesday, he reiterated his commitment to Georgia with a post on his private Twitter account.
Harvey-Clemons status as a Georgia verbal commitment was consistent with the news out of Lowndes and Athens later Wednesday afternoon, as Harvey-Clemons also informed several others of his intentions to send his letter of intent to Georgia, including Lowndes assistant head coach Terry Quinn.
"Josh has spoken to me a couple times this afternoon, and each time he has said he is all Georgia and will send his letter of intent with the Bulldogs," Quinn said. "He has also said the same to Coach Mike Bobo at Georgia."
Woodrow Clemons, the player's grandfather and legal gaurdian, must co-sign the letter of intent for it to be valid. Josh's grandmother, Vanessa Clemons, is an elementary school teacher and has a fax machine at the Clemons' household, so Harvey-Clemons would not be required to return to school in order to submit the letter of intent to whichever school was chosen. Quinn was unaware of whether or not Harvey-Clemons would be attending school Thursday or not.
At the news conference earlier in the day, Harvey-Clemons spoke of his family's initial reaction to his decision to go to Georgia.
"I talked about distance with my family, which is large, and I think they like Florida better because it is closer to home and easier to come to the games," Harvey-Clemons said. "But I had my mind made up, and it was a wrap after that."
Ashley Clemons, Josh's sister, also hinted at some dismay in the Clemons' household, but she said she supported his decision.
"When he told everyone last night it was Georgia, it kind of threw everyone for a loop," Ashley said. "I told him to go with where his heart was. You are never going to be able to please everyone, and he needed to find a place he felt he could perform well at. He wanted to win rings, and he felt like with the people coming in and him coming in, that they have a chance to win rings next year."
The top prospect in Georgia, Harvey-Clemons would represent a huge recruiting victory on signing day for Mark Richt and his staff and also would break their recent streak of recruiting defeats with Lowndes prospects. Defensive back Greg Reid and linebacker Telvin Smith both chose to attend FSU over Georgia in 2009 and 2010.
Defensive coordinator Todd Grantham was instrumental in Georgia winning over the No.17 prospect in the nation, selling him on his ability to develop him for the next level in his 3-4 scheme.
"I would say I had a strong relationship with Coach Grantham," Harvey-Clemons said. "He seems to put a lot of players in the NFL, and that's where I want to get. It just felt like home, and I felt really comfortable with the system Coach Grantham has at Georgia."
Kipp Adams has covered University of Georgia recruiting since 2006. He can be reached at KippAdamsESPN@gmail.com or on Twitter, @KippLAdams.