ATHENS, Ga. — The national letter of intent of outside linebacker Josh Harvey-Clemons from Lowndes High School in Valdosta arrived by fax in Athens at 8:30 Thursday morning, according to the school.
That was nearly 24 hours after Harvey-Clemons announced his plans of attending Georgia on national television. All that was missing was the signature of his grandfather and legal guardian, Woodrow Clemons. That was finally taken care of by Thursday morning.
“Josh walked in this morning with the paperwork and faxed it in to coach (Mark) Richt,” Lowndes coach Randy McPherson said.
He becomes the first football player from Lowndes to sign with Georgia since Randall Godfrey
Richt told Atlanta radio station 790 The Zone that coaches felt confident Harvey-Clemons would join despite the holdup.
“It’s just great to have him,” Richt said. “He’s a wonderful kid.”
Because Richt spoke publicly about Harvey-Clemons on Wednesday, Georgia sent a letter to the Southeastern Conference on Thursday reporting a secondary NCAA violation for televised comments Richt made shortly after Harvey-Clemons’ announcement.
It was a violation because Harvey-Clemons’ letter of intent was not received yet. The delay occurred because Harvey-Clemons’ grandfather wanted him to go to school closer to home.
The 6-foot-5, 208-pounder is rated as the No. 36 prospect nationally by Scout.com, No. 31 by Rivals.com and No. 19 by ESPN.com.
“He’s so versatile,” Richt said in the ESPNU comments that aired less than an hour after the announcement in Valdosta. “The guy can play inside linebacker, outside linebacker, he can rush the passer. He can play in coverage and, quite frankly, he’s a heck of a wide receiver, too.”
Georgia senior associate athletic director for compliance Jim Booz said that “things just got out of hand and one thing led to another. With the telecast on ESPNU, everybody thought that he had signed, it was in and it was over for him until a little while in the day.”
Booz said when Richt realized the letter of intent had not arrived, he called Booz to check on whether it was a violation, which it was.
The student-athlete’s eligibility is not affected in such a case.
With Harvey-Clemons now in the class, Georgia jumped to No. 11 in Rivals’ recruiting rankings.