When coaches recruit some of the super talented kids that they do out of high school, they are assuming that their authority and coaching will be the light needed to shine the young men down the path to success. Sometimes coaches are wrong in that regard and these young men let the college scene get the best of them and end up in trouble.
Sometimes the kids think their talent on the field or court will protect them from everything and can sometimes become a cancerous plague to their team. In a few instances, that is true but it was not the case in Athens, Georgia for uber-talented football star, Josh Harvey Clemons.
Clemons had offers from the top teams in every major conference and for good reason. His skills are unmatched by most and they helped him become the top rated football player in the talent rich state of Georgia and number one outside linebacker prospect in the country in the 2012 class. He played very well at Georgia before being dismissed by head coach Mark Richt this past February.
Clemons played in 25 career games, making 11 starts and finished the 2013 season ranked third on the team, with 66 total tackles. Playing safety, he also had one interception, broke up five passes, recovered three fumbles and forced two fumbles.
One cannot deny his talent and impact on the gridiron but one can definitely question his ability to accept responsibility and follow rules. Harvey-Clemons was to miss the first three games of the 2014 season as a continuation of his suspension for an undisclosed violation of team rules last season. He had to miss Georgia’s 24-19 loss to Nebraska in Gator Bowl.
-The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported in January that Harvey-Clemons’ suspension stemmed from violating the university’s drug-use policy for the second time. Harvey-Clemons also missed the 2013 season opener against Clemson — a game the Bulldogs lost — for violating the school’s drug-use policy after admitting to smoking marijuana in his dorm room last spring. – espn.com’s Edward Aschoff
Per Clemons’ grandfather, Mike Hughes of 247 Sports, reports that Josh will be transferring to Bobby Petrino and the Louisville Cardinals.
As a die hard fan of the Cardinals football program, I trust Petrino and his staff, most notably, Defensive Coordinator Todd Grantham in this case and I know they would not do anything to hurt the school or team. However, I do question if Josh will be able to see the light and stay on the straight and narrow. You have to imagine that he will be given a zero-tolerance policy regarding any infractions of team and school rules.
Grantham coached Clemons while at Georgia so he must see something, other than talent hopefully, in Clemons that he believes will be worth the risk of bringing him in. Louisville caught a ton of negativity from almost every media outlet with the (re)hiring of Petrino and deservedly so. I for one, was and still am all for the hiring but agreed with the negative publicity. I also, unlike many others, believe that Bobby is a changed man and will stay here for the duration of his career.
So, while it is a risk bringing Clemons in, it was also considered a risk bringing back Petrino. If there’s anybody out there that I always trust and never question, Tom Jurich is that guy. Who better to try and get through to a young man struggling with rules and consequences and getting a second (actually third) chance, than a man who just received his third chance and is eager to prove the naysayers wrong? These are big risks no doubt but calculated risks and ones that I’m okay with until proven wrong.