Posted by Jerry Hinnen
No one who follows college football is surprised when coaches go to extraordinary lengths to sign a pivotal recruit. But that doesn't mean it still wasn't something of a shock to see headlines that Georgia's Mark Richt had taken himself to jail Wednesday night to try and land Valdosta (Ga.) linebacker prospect Josh Harvey-Clemons.
Of course, the story's not at all what those headlines would make it appear to be--though that doesn't mean it's not fascinating in its own right. As the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports, Richt's "in-home" visit with Harvey-Clemons was interrupted when the 6'5", 200-pound linebacker had to make a visit to the local prison for the bail bonds company part-owned by his grandfather (and legal guardian).
Thanks to some complications, Richt and Bulldog offensive coordinator Mike Bobo eventually ended up tagging along for what wound up a "bonding" experience in more ways than one.
Positive as the trip wound up being -- Richt was reportedly assured the Bulldogs remain very much in the mix for Harvey-Clemons' signature after the visit -- even Richt knew the trip would wind up becoming fodder for recruiting fans.
“I’m sure this was an experience that Coach Mark Richt will never forget,” Harvey-Clemons' uncle, Roy Hart, told the AJC "with a chuckle. “Coach Richt said ‘I can’t wait to read the headlines about this one.’”
Harvey-Clemons is the No. 93 prospect on the Maxpreps top 100 and will have his choice of some of the nation's top programs. The Bulldogs are one of three reported leaders alongside Florida and Florida State, with Harvey-Clemons set to visit Miami this weekend.
But despite that attention, Harvey-Clemons still has to pay his dues in grandfather Woodrow Clemons' bonds business.
“My kids are at the age where they have to work and do something," Clemons said. "They’ve got to start learning about the real world. And with being bond agents, they can pick up the ‘fear’ of going to jail … Josh understood he had to go do this. I own the business and one day Josh will own part of it, so he knows the responsibilities that come with it. And it definitely beats working at Wal-mart or a hamburger joint.”
This may be true. Though we're wondering if, happy ending and all, Richt wouldn't have minded a trip to pick up a garden hose or a Big Mac instead.