Some thoughts and a look at some of the moving parts in the aftermath of Georgia cutting ties with Josh Harvey-Clemons:
–There’s no doubt that Harvey-Clemons was a talented player. He was a five-star recruit out of Lowndes High who CBSSports.com lists as the No. 2 strong safety prospect for the 2016 NFL draft. If he had a good junior season for Georgia, it would not have been a surprise to see him enter the draft next January.
He played the “star” position in Georgia’s defense, but what he wasn’t was a star player quite yet as I saw tweeted out by some after his dismissal.
Yes, Harvey-Clemons was a big-time talent and a potential star that last season had three fumble recoveries and was third on the team in tackles. He certainly could make his presence felt, but he didn’t have his first college interception until what turned out to be his last game for Georgia against Georgia Tech and didn’t even make honorable mention All-SEC.
The lasting play for him in a Bulldogs uniform will probably be the one he didn’t make, deflecting that touchdown pass late against Auburn. While Isaiah Crowell, another five-star talent who was dismissed from Georgia, was difficult to deal with, Harvey-Clemons was always accommodating in interview settings. He just ran afoul of Georgia’s drug policy and couldn’t meet standards set for players.
As former Georgia tight end Arthur Lynch tweeted: “Just to be clear, those who decide not to do it the RIGHT way do not deserve to don the Red & Black. It is a privilege, not a right.”
–Don’t forget Georgia was already going to play without Harvey-Clemons for the first three games of next season. That includes against Clemson and South Carolina. So at least there won’t be any having to work him back into the lineup in game four against Tennessee like Georgia did with suspended defensive players in 2012.
His career at Georgia might have ended up along the lines of Alec Ogletree, who played in 30 games in three seasons after missing time due to suspension and injury and then turned pro.
–Where will Harvey-Clemons eventually end up? The first reaction by most was to crack about Auburn, which has former Bulldog Nick Marshall, who helped the Tigers to the BCS title game.
Would Harvey-Clemons reunite with Louisville and Todd Grantham, who saw big things for him in his “star” hybrid position? Harvey-Clemons mentioned Grantham as the big pull for why he came to Georgia when he signed.
–One guy to watch for this spring is Paris Bostick, who redshirted last season as a freshman after toe surgery last summer. Bostick was moved from safety to inside linebacker during the fall, but with a new coaching staff could end up back in the secondary.
“He’s healthy,” coach Mark Richt said on signing day. “He had that toe surgery when he first got in. The thing was nagging him for the longest and it got misdiagnosed I think. They were thinking it was turf toe that might go away. Just kept getting worse and we finally got him MRI’d when he first got in town and decided there was surgery we had to do to get it cleaned up.”
The 6-foot-1, 217-pound Bostick has been full speed in winter conditioning mat drills.
“He’s a guy that’s a tweener,” Richt said. “Is he a safety, is he a backer? He’s a guy we’ll try to make a decision on what’s best for him, what’s best for Georgia.”
–Two weeks ago on signing day, new defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt didn’t have much of a handle on some of his guys because he was more focused on recruiting.
Asked about Tramel Terry, moved to safety in bowl practices when coaches may have known that Harvey-Clemons would be suspended for four games, Pruitt said: “I know Tramel. Came off an injury I think. We really hadn’t got into that.”
That surely will change before spring practices begin in about four weeks.
–Please follow me at Twitter.com/marcweiszer