#25 Josh Harvey-Clemons
Hometown: Valdosta, GA
Thoughts: As I was prepping for my annual CardinalStrong ‘Louisville Football Preseason Awards Ceremony’ last night (not a real thing) I was thoroughly impressed with the amount of potential nominees in the "most impactful transfer" category. One would think each year you may have one or possibly two players come into the program that can really leave a mark on the season but this year I can legitimately make an argument for five different players, each at a unique position. I’ve already covered Jeremy Smith and DeVonte Fields and over the course of the next few weeks you’ll learn more about Cole Hikutini, and Shaq Wiggins, and if you really wanted to you could probably throw Jamari Staples in the mix as well, but my pick for 2015 is one Josh Harvey-Clemons.
Out of high school JHC was a top 35 prospect overall and the number two outside linebacker in the country. Josh made an immediate impact for the Georgia Bulldogs as a true freshman, playing in 14 games and grabbing 14 tackles. As a sophomore JHC was once again a playmaker on the defensive side of the ball, starting 11 games and making 66 tackles (add an interception and three fumble recoveries for good measure). Josh was on the rise at Georgia but had some trouble off the field as a Sophomore and the departure of Grantham to Louisville probably didn’t help strengthen his relationship with the University.When Josh and Georgia decided it was time to part ways Louisville was already on his short list for a couple reasons. Obviously the relationship with Grantham was a huge draw, but Coach Strong and his staff actually had JHC on campus during his initial recruitment and evidently made an impression on him at that time as well, which helped in the final decision.
Josh will be a Junior this year on the field, after sitting out last season, and Grantham appears to be using him the exact same way he was utilized while at Georgia, as in, any way possible. Grantham revealed a few days ago that JHC will play the "star" position in his 3-4 defense which equates to an outside linebacker in most sets. He also made it known that Harvey-Clemons size will be utilized in a multitude of ways this year and he wouldn’t be pinned down in one spot, seeing time at safety and at the nickel as well. Petrino and Grantham both parised JHC and his attitude during the season he was forced to sit out and how hungry he looks to get back at it. In a recent interview Josh seemed excited about once again being the "star" in the Grantham defense saying he loved playing linebacker but understood that his reach, his speed, his strength and his size could be used all over the field to create matchup issues. Another one of those areas could be special teams as Josh was getting some reps there yesterday and actually had a blocked field goal on a low kick from Wallace. The kid can do it all.
I don’t think I’m alone when I express just how excited I am to see Josh perform this season. If you haven’t had time to go look at some film from his two years at Georgia do yourself a favor and check it out. While I would never try and place a kid on a pedestal that hasn’t played one snap at Louisville I’ll simply say this, enjoy him this year. If he plays as many expect him to in 2015 it may be the lone season he wears ‘LOUISVILLE’ across his chest.
Sweet Tweet: No twitter for Josh so let me do a quick "cross sport" reminder that tonight begins the international tour for 'Puerto Rico Rick and the Cardinal Crew'. I'm sure you'll be flooded with info on this very site today/tomorrow etc but let's not take Cardinal Basketball in August for granted. If you're occupied I understand, but otherwise pay the 10 bucks and watch your Cards. I mean, how many epeisodes of 'Bar Rescue' can somebody watch on a Tuesday night? It'll be a fun six days for sure. Some new faces, some old faces, and of course, one baby faced assassin.