VALDOSTA, Ga. -- After a sleepless night in Athens, the Georgia coaches can finally rest at ease now, as the drama surrounding the nation’s No. 1 outside linebacker and Georgia commit has ended.
Twenty-three hours after signing it, Josh Harvey-Clemons (Valdosta, Ga./Lowndes) sent his letter of intent Thursday morning to the University of Georgia, according to Lowndes coach Terry Quinn. Georgia senior associate athletic director Claude Felton confirmed to DawgNation that the letter was received.
While the drama of national signing day ended Wednesday evening around most of the country, tensions rose higher for the Bulldogs as each hour passed with no word from UGA that Harvey-Clemons' paperwork had been processed.
Despite his committing to Georgia on national television, his faxed LOI was nowhere to be seen. Then, when word came from Valdosta of dissension in the family, tension turned into panic as rumors ran rampant.
“I signed it at the announcement," Harvey-Clemons told DawgNation on Thursday afternoon, "but I did not realize my grandfather had to sign it too and he had left immediately. Coach [Mark] Richt called the school and let them know he had to, but he had already gone home.
“I went home to talk to him, and he said he wanted me to go to Florida because it was closer to home. I told him I was sticking with Georgia because that is where I wanted to be, and I felt I could become a better player there."
Harvey-Clemons said that, while the rumors swirled, he didn't spend time Wednesday being concerned about his situation changing.
“I never was worried about it, because I knew where I wanted to be," he said. "He signed it last night and we submitted it this morning.
"I know he wanted me to go to Florida, but I think he will come around soon. I am thankful for Coach Richt’s patience, and when I sent the paperwork in this morning I told him I was ready to officially be a Bulldog.”
The drama that kept the Georgia coaching staff on pins and needles came as a surprise, considering how the Clemons family wanted the day to go smoothly. Woodrow Clemons told DawgNation last week that he wanted to avoid a situation similar to the one that marred Alabama signee Landon Collins’ recent announcement.
“We are going to sit down as a family Sunday afternoon or Monday evening and talk it out," the elder Clemons said. “The aunts and cousins will give him their viewpoints. And then me and my wife and Josh will sit down Tuesday evening and finalize everything, so there won't be no last-minute thing like the guy did at Alabama. There won't be an incident like that. We are going to be on the same page. However he chooses, we are going to support it.”
But when Harvey-Clemons told the family his decision was to play for the Bulldogs, it seems he encountered some resistance. His sister, Ashley Clemons, said Wednesday at Josh's announcement ceremony that the news "threw everyone for a loop" when he told the family Tuesday night.
With the drama of Wednesday behind him, Harvey-Clemons is focused on getting to Athens soon.
“It feels so great to be a Bulldog, and I am ready to get up there with my new family and teammates. Georgia is the place to be, and I am glad it all worked out.”