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December 4, 2011
Some colleges want Josh Harvey-Clemons, a five-star prospect from Valdosta (Ga.) Lowndes, to play outside linebacker at the next level. A few like him at safety. One major program even thinks he should be a receiver.
Asked if he had a preference, Harvey-Clemons replied, "I really don't have a favorite." That's probably because this Josh-of-all-trades has been successful at every position he has ever played, dating back to when he took up the sport at age 7.
"When I first started, I was a running back," Harvey-Clemons said. "I was a running back and linebacker all the way through middle school. When I got to high school, I started playing a little bit of quarterback, receiver and safety. Since then, I've been moving around."
The lanky 6-foot-5, 205-pounder, who started for the junior varsity in the ninth-grade before being moved up late in the season, excelled mostly at outside linebacker and safety in 2011, helping lead his team into the playoffs. On Friday, the senior standout was rewarded for his consistency, versatility and dominance when the U.S. Army All-American Bowl selection tour stopped by Harvey-Clemons' school to officially invite him to the Jan. 7 game at the Alamodome in San Antonio, and present him with his game jersey.
"It went real good," the mild-mannered Harvey-Clemons said of the ceremony. "It means a lot to me, considering I was the first one from Lowndes to get nominated. It's a great honor."
And one Harvey-Clemons richly deserves.
A three-year starter for Lowndes, a perennial state and region power, Harvey-Clemons made his mark on both sides of the ball, but has been particularly impressive on defense. Early this season, he played safety but by year's end, the speedy and athletic player was at outside linebacker. Equally effective - not to mention intimidating - at both spots, he finished the season with 105 total tackles and three interceptions.
"I think I cover a lot of ground," Harvey-Clemons said. "It's just playing smart, doing my assignments and making plays when I need to."
In San Antonio, Harvey-Clemons will play linebacker.
"It's going to be my first time in San Antonio, so I'm looking forward to that," he said. "I'm going to play against the best and practice against the best while I'm there. I don't really know who I'm going to be going up against, but I'm looking forward to having fun."
Harvey-Clemons, who is uncommitted at the moment, has considered announcing his pick in San Antonio. But there's a chance that might not happen, he said.
He will make an official visit to Georgia on Dec. 9 and another to Florida the following weekend. Florida State will get an official Jan. 13. Alabama also is getting a visit, though no date has been set, and Harvey-Clemons added he "might be going to Louisville on Jan. 16 when I get back from the Army game."
No matter which school he chooses, or which position he plays in college, Harvey-Clemons knows for certain a few things he must do to be prepared.
"I need to add weight," he said. "And I need to get better in the weight room. I've got to get a lot stronger. If I do that, I'll think I'll be good."