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Harvey-Clemons already went through drills this summer playing nickel and safety knowing he wouldn't have the size to go up against tight ends and tackles.
He’s made the most of his time in the secondary so far.
“He’s flying around and making plays,” receiver Marlon Brown said.
Safety Shawn Williams said heading into Thursday’s practice that Harvey-Clemons was leading the defense with four interceptions this preseason.
“I’ve just been in the right place at the right time I guess," Harvey-Clemons said.
“He’s coming along well,” Williams said. “He’s learning what to do; he’s just got to be confident that you know. You play better when you know what to do.”
Harvey-Clemons hopes to put on weight and move to linebacker next season like Alec Ogletree did after his freshman year.
The five-star recruit from Lowndes High in Valdosta was the final piece of Georgia’s recruiting class, sending in his paperwork the morning after signing day because his grandfather, Woodrow Clemons, delayed signing because he was concerned about the distance it would take to drive to Athens.
“He’s loving it now,” Harvey-Clemons said. “He was up here Monday for our first pads practice and he had on his Georgia gear and everything. He’s excited. I think he’s more excited than I am.”
Freshmen OLB still learning
For all the praise that Georgia’s freshmen outside linebackers have gotten, they are still freshmen.
That means aspects of their games have room to get better.
Coach Mark Richt said Jordan Jenkins has “got all the pass-rushing skills that you would hope for a guy to have. He’s got to become a little bit more physical in the run game.”
Said Jenkins: “I’ve just got to work on reading it more. Sometimes if I’m dropping, I’ll keep dropping instead of playing up. I think I got better today because I tried to put more emphasis on playing the run. Hopefully I get it done in the future.”
Josh Dawson is “more physical than I thought he would be,” but needs to develop his rush techniques, Richt said. James Deloach is big and athletic who is stout against the run, but needs work with his pass techniques.
“All three of them are strong enough physically and agile enough to play, they’ve just got to learn what to do,” Richt said. “Hopefully these guys will help us on our special teams. They’re really good body types to be on those special teams.”
Tailbacks continue to share first-team snaps
The day after Georgia’s first scrimmage, there wasn’t any noticeable difference in the pecking order of the tailbacks.
“They’re really rolling like they’re co.-No.1s,” Richt said. “It’s not like the No. 3 and 4 on the depth chart only get second-team reps.”
Sophomore Ken Malcome went first in early drills Thursday and was followed by freshmen Keith Marshall and Todd Gurley. Richard Samuel was working at fullback, but is also getting tailback work.
Richt said he’s confident that the freshmen can run the ball well, but “they’ve got to be better,” in pass protection.
This and that
Asked if he won’t reveal the expected suspensions to safety Bacarri Rambo and Ogletree until the first game week, Richt said: “Yeah, I don’t know when will let y’all know that. I don’t like talking about that.”
Freshman John Theus worked as the first-team right tackle in practice on Thursday in a line that included left tackle Kenarious Gates, left guard Dallas Lee, center David Andrews and right guard Chris Burnette. “The No. 1 unit played very well I thought,” Richt said of Wednesday’s scrimmage. “The No. 2 unit had some moments where they put it all together.” The second unit was left tackle Austin Long, left guard Mark Beard, center Hunter Long, right guard Greg Pyke and right tackle Watts Dantzler.
Fullback Merritt Hall continues to hold onto the top fullback spot, Richt said. Freshman Quayvon Hicks and Samuel are battling for the No. 2 job.
Cornerback Branden Smith (left shoulder contusion) practiced in a non-contact jersey and had an interception in the red zone. “He’s making plays every day,” said Richt, who identified the senior as a standout so far.
Damian Swann (sprained neck) also was in a non-contact jersey. Tailback Brandon Harton (hip contusion) is day-to-day. Defensive end Ray Drew (concussion) remains sidelined. …Outside linebacker Jarvis Jones was a first-team selection on SI.com’s preseason All-America team.
Goatee update: Richt still has it. “My wife texted me yesterday morning—she said she really liked it so I might keep it for a while.”