Josh Harvey-Clemons’ troubled Georgia career is over.
The school announced in a two sentence press release Tuesday afternoon that the safety/nickel back was dismissed from the team for a “violation of team rules,” but provided no further details.
Harvey-Clemons already was in the midst of serving his second suspension. The rising junior would have missed the first three games of the coming season after being held out of the bowl game, a team source had said.
Harvey-Clemons, who came to Georgia as a five-star recruit in 2012 from Lowndes High in Valdosta, was third on the team in tackles last season with 66 and had one interception and tied for the SEC lead with three fumble recoveries.
He was suspended for the season opener last season at Clemson after UGA police were called to a dorm room last May to investigate the smell of marijuana. Harvey-Clemons and tight end Ty Flournoy-Smith told police they smoked marijuana. Flournoy-Smith, who had been arrested for another incident, transferred to Georgia Military College and signed this month at Alabama.
A second violation of the athletic association’s drug policy calls for a four-game suspension. Woodrow Clemons, Josh’s grandfather, declined to comment Tuesday during a brief conversation about the reason for the dismissal, but said he talked to Harvey-Clemons the last couple of days.
“Of course, he’s down,” he said.
The loss of Harvey-Clemons, who made 11 starts and played in 25 games in his two seasons, takes away one of Georgia’s most talented players on defense for new coordinator Jeremy Pruitt.
He may be most remembered for deflecting a pass against Auburn this past season that was improbably caught by Ricardo Louis for a 73-yard touchdown with 25 seconds to play in Georgia’s loss. He rebounded with a key fourth-quarter interception in a win against Georgia Tech two weeks later.
“My coach and my teammates, they did a great job of keeping me focused and not letting me get down on myself,” he said.
Georgia’s secondary in 2014 returns cornerbacks Shaq Wiggins, Damian Swann, Brendan Langley and Sheldon Dawson and safeties Corey Moore, Tray Matthews and Quincy Mauger. The Bulldogs moved receiver Tramel Terry to safety during bowl practices and signed junior college defensive back Shattle Fenteg and high school defensive backs Malkom Parrish, Dominick Sanders and Shaq Jones.
There was drama surrounding Harvey-Clemons, who turns 20 on Thursday, even before he officially became a Bulldog.
He announced in 2012 on signing day morning that he would attend Georgia, but his signed letter of intent didn’t arrive until the day after because Woodrow Clemons, his legal guardian, delayed signing it because he wanted Harvey-Clemons to go to school closer to home.
Now, Harvey-Clemons will have to find a new place to play.
“He’ll be attending school somewhere,” Woodrow Clemons said.