One of the lasting impressions of Josh Harvey-Clemons in a Georgia uniform will be from the "Prayer at Jordan-Hare"; Photo: USA Today Sports
When Mark Richt woke up on Tuesday morning, he probably wasn't expecting to have to kick a player off his football team but that's exactly what happened on Richt's birthday. On Tuesday, Georgia dismissed rising junior and starting Safety Josh Harvey-Clemons (JHC).
As a sophomore. JHC showed signs of living up to his five-star high school billing. He finished third on the team with 65 total tackles and finished fifth with 38 solo tackles. He added 5.5 tackles for loss and an interception. At times, he looked like the best defender on the field for Georgia.
JHC was immensely talented but he had already had his issues at Georgia as he was suspended for the 2013 season opening loss to Clemson (a three point loss in which the team could have used him), and he also missed the Gator Bowl and was facing a three-game suspension to start the 2014 season. According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, both suspensions were drug related. The only reason given for JHC's dismissal is "violation of team rules". As a rising junior, I would expect JHC to transfer to a small school and enter the NFL draft over the next two seasons, a la Florida's Janoris Jenkins.
So where does this leave Georgia? One positive is that Georgia was already expecting to be without JHC for the first three games of the season. Another positive is that this is happening before spring practice, so this isn't a loss that Georgia will have to make up on short notice before meaningful games are played. Both of those play to Georgia's advantage. What doesn't is that Georgia losses a player with top level talent and a huge upside.
Last season, the Georgia secondary was young and made a multitude of mistakes. This season, with a new coaching staff, all eyes will be on that part of the defense as it will be a big reason that Georgia sinks or swims in 2014.