ATHENS, Ga. — Just about everything was going smoothly for Georgia on National Signing Day.
Josh Harvey-Clemons, a top-40 national prospect, got things off to a rousing start by revealing on national television that he would become a Bulldog.
The faxes rolled off the machine, the Bulldogs surged in the recruiting rankings, but as 18 national letters of intents were in by midday, there was nothing from Harvey-Clemons, the playmaking outside linebacker from Lowndes High.
For a letter of intent to be certified, a legal guardian or parent must also sign.
Woodrow Clemons, Josh’s grandfather and legal
guardian, would not sign the
Georgia letter of intent. Woodrow Clemons was nowhere to be found Wednesday evening, according to Josh’s uncle, Roy Hart.
Georgia was still waiting on Harvey-Clemons to join a class that includes six top-75 prospects, including Jenkins County’ defensive lineman Jonathan Taylor.
Joining Taylor among the top-75 prospects are offensive tackle John Theus from Florida, running backs Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall from North Carolina and outside linebacker Jordan Jenkins from Henry County.
It was the kind of storyline that coach Mark Richt could do without to wrap up a recruiting class.
“I quite frankly would like to have no buzz on signing day,” Richt said. “I’d like it to be the boringest day there is.”
There were signs something was amiss a couple of hours after the 9:15 a.m. announcement and after Richt spoke glowingly about Harvey-Clemons on ESPNU’s signing show.
He showed up about 45 minutes later than expected to address the fans in the Butts-Mehre Building.
When Richt was asked about Harvey-Clemons at his 1 p.m. news conference, he was forced to give short answers or sidestep them.
Asked afterwards whether he was concerned that Harvey-Clemons’ letter of intent had not arrived, Richt said, “No, not at all. Not at all.”
Hart said that Harvey-Clemons was “upbeat and standing by his commitment” to Georgia.
The focus might have been on Harvey-Clemons, but Georgia likes what it has from the players in the fold.
“We’re extremely excited about this class,” recruiting coordinator Rodney Garner said.