X-man

I know they’ve got big plans for Josh Harvey-Clemons.  But I didn’t realize just how enamored Grantham has been with JH-C’s potential.

Todd Grantham first saw the unique talents of Josh Harvey-Clemons on a scouting video. The first time Grantham saw him in person was in a basketball game. By then, Grantham was convinced: Here was something special. Here was a player who could be used everywhere.

Grantham, Georgia’s defensive coordinator, envisioned using Harvey-Clemons at safety or maybe at nickel cornerback or outside and inside linebacker. Maybe he could even start a play on the line.

Asked if he has ever had a player like that, Grantham shook his head.

“Not like that,” he said. “He’s pretty rare.”

I remember the last time a Georgia defensive coordinator discovered a safety prospect at a basketball game.  But I digress.

The interesting thing about Harvey-Clemons’ progression is that his body type seems to have left the coaches unable to decide how best to deploy his talent.

Last season there wasn’t really an opening for Harvey-Clemons on Georgia’s veteran defense. Besides, Grantham was still trying to figure out the best way to use him.

“We knew he was something; we just weren’t sure what,” Grantham said.

The 6-foot-5 Harvey-Clemons began at safety, with an eye on gaining weight and moving to outside linebacker. But the weight has never really come on, and he’s around 220 pounds now.

Whatever the deal with that, Grantham sounds pretty sold on the kid now.

In the offseason, Grantham basically built the defense around Harvey-Clemons, deciding to use him at the star. The Bulldogs are in their nickel defense (usually a 4-2-5) much of the time. So Grantham has utilized the star position during his four years at Georgia, with the likes of Ogletree (an inside linebacker) and Brandon Boykin (a cornerback) playing there.

But Harvey-Clemons seems the most ideal to the role.

“We thought he was pretty athletic, but once we got him here and saw his coverage skills and saw his length, he creates a different dimension for that position,” Grantham said. “A little different than a Boykin kind of deal. So we kind of chose to go that kind of route with him.”

I don’t expect world domination from JH-C tomorrow.  After all, he’s starting the learning curve at the same spot his teammates were in last Saturday.  But if he’s as talented as his teammates and coaches insist he is and if Grantham is scheming around that talent, I do expect to see an overall improvement from what we saw against Clemson.

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26 Comments

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26 responses to “X-man

  1. Skeptic Dawg

    Sell, sell sell! I not buying any hype from Grantham, Friend, Bobo or Richt or anyone else on this staff. Show me! I listened to all of the OL hype all off season, only to watch those guys lay and egg Saturday night. Time to shut up and play. Enough of the talk. I will believe it when I see it.

    • sUGArdaddy

      You must be a fun guy to tailgate with, Skeptic. It’s so much more fun to wait for your team to fail than get joy from anticipating your team to do well.

  2. Ben

    If nothing else, it frees Floyd up to make plays at Sam, which, if nothing else, helps Jenkins to make plays at Will (assuming we’re running in our base package).

    • Agreed. I like a lot of what I saw from Floyd, but think he’s better suited closer to the line of scrimmage.

    • Joe Schmoe

      I think that is the kind of positive domino effect that can happen when you get one of your better players back – several other guys are either a) playing in their preferred spot or b) not being asked to do more than they should be.

      Couple of other players that we should be getting back / fully healthy:
      > Burnette
      > Rumph (could be big with the loss of Mitchell)

  3. Keese

    Temper expectations on this one. I’ll get excited once we see plays made to be labeled a playmaker

  4. Can he cover the wheel route?

    (to be fair to Connor, he covered it pretty well… it was a perfect pass and catch… but still)

  5. Ausdawg85

    The FDA is considering a recall of the Kool-Aid being peddled by the Senator. Reports from the CDC indicate it causes irrational hope followed by even greater irrational angst in Dawg fans. Poisonous stuff I tell ya!

  6. JG Shellnutt

    I remember a few years ago being a bit skeptical when Grantham moved Ogletree to linebacker from safety. That turned out pretty well. I think Grantham knows his personnel and his D well enough to plug folks in where they need to be.

    • AthensHomerDawg

      Too bad he can’t stop the run though.

      • hinesword

        Agreed AHD. With the exception of the goal-line hit against Lacy in the SECCG (which, granted, is a big exception) I thought ‘Tree was way overrated as an ILB. Sure he could chase down guys on the perimeter, but he struggled taking on and shedding blockers (usually O-linemen) to stuff the middle. I have a tough time seeing JHC doing any better with his frame.

  7. I hope this has the effect I think it will. As stated above, this move lets Floyd be a pass rusher which puts more pressure on the OL. SoCar may have a big OL, but do they have an athletic one? We’ll soon find out.

  8. Mayor of Dawgtown

    Shhhh! Keep this quiet. If he knows in advance about JH-C the first big hit by JH-C and Penn Wagers will throw him out of the game.

  9. W Cobb Dawg

    “Last season there wasn’t an opening on the veteran defense..”

    I find it difficult to believe JHC couldn’t have contributed more if he actually has the talent the comments infer. Perhaps not as a starter, but he still could’ve got significant playing time. We weren’t so deep or healthy that he’d merit being such an unknown commodity.

  10. hinesword

    Grantham plans his defense around the kid and the thanks he gets is smoking a blunt in the dorm room? Until he proves otherwise, he is Josh Harvey-Kormann in my book.

  11. baddawg

    So… im having opposite night. On friday I get off work drink myself to sleep and tell everyone how were gonna beat ass tomorrow! Tonight I feel like weve been fed a load of crap. The team last year was a great team. One bad loss and close call to national championship. If JHC is soooo good. Why wasnt he on the field last year?! And how the hell is he going to be a lifeline this year?! I love Georgia. I just think its complacent. If our lines dont show up with the will of god, pardon my french, were in deep shit tomorrow. Please someone convince me otherwise….

    • Mayor of Dawgtown

      The team didn’t do enough full contact work during summer camp and fall practice. The players were not used to full speed play and hard tackling before they played Clemson. They have now been through a tough game against a quality opponent, plus now that the coaches have figured out the above they had full contact scrimmages this week. The team is now ready to play. Look out Gamecocks because the Dawgs are going to rock your jocks! (How’s that?) :)

      • baddawg

        I feel like our fan base has toughness and passion. Thats what we were raised watching. Win or lose thats what I need to see tomorrow. Scheme doesnt matter. We have the talent no doubt…. passion. Fight for a win the way we would. As fans. Have some passion

  12. DawgPhan

    feeling that we might have a great game tomorrow. can’t wait to experience it.

  13. Rebar

    This could be that one thing that makes everything else click into place; people should respect the Boykin reference, he was special.