UGA's Harvey-Clemons at safety -- for now

ATHENS, Ga. -- Georgia coach Mark Richt said freshman Josh Harvey-Clemons could probably play three or four different positions, but safety is where Richt’s coaching staff thinks he’s the best fit -- for now.

At 6-foot-5 and 207 pounds, Harvey-Clemons -- whom ESPN rated as the nation’s top outside linebacker prospect of 2012 -- is probably a bit too thin for linebacker, making the secondary a better location for a player with his athleticism.

“His body right now is more ready to do that,” Richt said after Friday’s second preseason practice. “I don’t think he’s really thick enough at this moment and strong enough to play that outside linebacker position. He could do it athletically without question. He could play safety without question. I think he could play the nickel, I think he could probably play corner.

“I mean he’s just very athletic, he has very good ball skills, got a lot of quickness and burst and I imagine he could be a very good receiver, too, if he wanted to be. He’s about what we thought he was, but he’s just not thick enough yet to jump inside.”

Harvey-Clemons was one of the crown jewels of Georgia’s most recent recruiting class, ranking as ESPN’s top prospect in Georgia and the No. 17 overall player in the nation, so his arrival on campus came with its share of fanfare.

His eventual college position was a regular source of summer debate among recruitniks, although the outcome of that debate remains in doubt. Richt said he does not know where Harvey-Clemons will end up, opting to wait and see whether the freshman can perform with the same level of speed and skill if he adds weight as his body continues to mature.

“We want to see what his body does,” Richt said. “I’m for guys getting as strong as they can get and as fast and quick as they can get and in the best condition that they can get. If he’s got a body type that just won’t put it on, he may stay back in the back end a little bit. We’ll just have to wait and see what happens to his body as time goes on.”