Murray: "Crazy atmosphere" in Clemson
Aaron Murray
Athens Banner-Herald
Posted Mar 6, 2013


ATHENS - Georgia will open the football season in a showcase game in primetime.

The Bulldogs Aug. 31 game at Clemson will kick off at 8 p.m and be shown nationally on ABC.

It’s the first time Georgia will begin the season with a road game at night since 1994 when the Bulldogs won at South Carolina, 24-21.

“It’s going to be fun,” quarterback Aaron Murray said. “I’m excited to get to that stadium. I heard it’s a beautiful stadium, a lot of fun. It’s going to be a crazy atmosphere. I’m looking forward to it. It should be a great game.”

Georgia and Clemson could be a matchup of top-10 teams and will feature two of the top returning quarterbacks in the nation in Murray and Clemson’s Tajh Boyd, who tied for fifth in the nation with 36 touchdown passes last season.

This is the first meeting in football between the schools since 2003. Georgia has won the last five games between the programs. Georgia went 12-2 last season and Clemson was 11-2.

Harvey-Clemons `trying to get safety down pat'

Josh Harvey-Clemons has worked only in the secondary in the Bulldogs’ two spring practices so far.

He’s lined up at strong safety in the base defense and covering the slot receiver at the star position in the nickel package, he said after practice tonight.

What about outside linebacker?

“Not yet,” he said. “No, not yet.”

Defensive coordinator Todd Grantham told the sophomore what he told reporters prior to spring practice that the Valdosta product will be playing both safety and outside linebacker.

“I’m just trying to get safety down pat right now,” he said.

The 6-foot-5 Harvey-Clemons, a five-star recruit in 2012, said he weighs 218 pounds now, only three more than what he was during bowl practices.

“He looks slim, doesn’t he?” coach Mark Richt said. “Surprisingly, he’s relatively stout on contact. Even though he looks tall and rangy, which he is, he doesn’t look super thick, but there’s something about him. When he strikes, he actually holds up pretty good. We also want him to be a great cover guy. We want him to be able to cover tight ends. We want him to maybe cover a slot receiver and things of that nature. He’s very versatile in his athleticism. Can he play some outside linebacker? Yeah, we think so. Can he play some safety? We think so too. The thing for him is to learn it.”

Harvey-Clemons said he shed a few pounds during workouts, but he is eating more and trying to add more protein to his diet.

“I’ve been getting a lot stronger in the weight room, but still not putting on the weight good yet,” Harvey-Clemons said. “This whole time I’ve been working out (in mat drills) with the outside linebackers, but when the first practice started I just went with the safeties.”

Harvey-Clemons was working second-team strong safety early in practice Tuesday behind Corey Moore. Freshman Tray Matthews was the first-team free safety.

Harvey-Clemons said playing some snaps in a reserve role in the secondary last season gave him a grasp of the concepts.

“I see him excelling at that position,” cornerback Sheldon Dawson said. “By him playing strong safety to be that tall at safety, that’s a good thing. Many people say he lacks on size, but his hearts so big and he’s so determined, he’ll try to knock anything off.”

Mayes and Atkins could become `monsters' on line

Offensive tackle Mark Beard had some simple advice to his roommate, junior college transfer nose guard Chris Mayes: absorb that playbook.

“If you can’t learn the plays, you’re not going to get on the field point-blank,” said Beard, who started two games last season after transferring from Coffeyville (Kan.) Community College.

Junior Mike Thornton is getting first-team work for now at nose guard.

Mayes and freshman John Atkins “bring a lot of power, a lot of size,” defensive end Ray Drew said. “I believe by the time the season rolls around, by the time we get done with spring, those guys are going to be monsters, they’re going to be great.”

This and that

Tailbacks Keith Marshall (hamstring) and Brandon Harton (undisclosed) missed practice again Tuesday as expected. They are expected to return after spring break. Top tailback Todd Gurley said he hasn’t been overworked despite the lack of numbers at the position, saying he’s “as healthy as ever.”

After practicing with some snow flurries on Saturday, the Bulldogs worked out in the rain during Tuesday's practice. "After reviewing the film of Saturday's practice, we realized we were not running as hard to the ball as we thought we should, so we got that straightened out today," coach Mark Richt said. "It's hard to make too many assessments when you're in shorts and you're installing. We're looking forward to Thursday when we can put on the pads and play a little football."


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