ATHENS - Josh Harvey-Clemons is playing outside linebacker this week, but the highly-touted freshman is pretty sure his future remains at safety.
Mark Richt isn't as sure.
Harvey-Clemons was recruited to Georgia this year as an outside linebacker, but moved to safety once he arrived on campus. He hasn't seen any significant action on defense, but that could change over the next two weeks. In anticipation of two straight games against triple-option teams, Harvey-Clemons has been moved to an outside linebacker spot.
So is it a preview of things to come?
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"Not really, unless I just put on a lot of weight," said Harvey-Clemons, who said he weighed 215 pounds now, about eight pounds more than he had in the preseason. "I'm really looking forward to playing safety, really."
There will also be more of a need at safety in 2013, with seniors Shawn Williams and Bacarri Rambo set to leave, and no obvious replacement. The linebacker spot is more spot, even with the expected departures of Jarvis Jones and Alec Ogletree to the NFL. Jordan Jenkins heads an impressive bunch of freshman outside linebackers, and Amarlo Herrera is set at one inside linebacker spot.
"It would be a lot harder for me to try to learn a new position, just start over from scratch again like that," he said. "Most of those other guys that are already at outside linebacker know it. So it'd be just like me starting all over again."
But Richt made it sound like it was more of a question, when asked after Wednesday's practice if he'd like to nail down a spot for Harvey-Clemons.
"It'd be nice to," Richt said. "It's hard to say exactly where he'll end up right now. I think he could end up at linebacker or safety. I don't know where he's gonna end up."
Richt also said moving him to linebacker this week had "100 percent to do with what we're trying to defend."
Harvey-Clemons actually downplayed the amount of time he'll be playing linebacker against Georgia Southern and Georgia Tech, and pointed out that Georgia really employ a nickel package against this type of offense. But if it gets him on the field, he's happy about it.
"I'm excited to play," Harvey-Clemons said. "When I heard we don't run nickel this week, I was like, Man I know I'm not getting in now. Since they put that in, I've just been trying to learn that, because I wanna learn that. ... It's simple, so it's nothing you really have to think much about it. You don't think, you just play."
It won't be the first time Harvey-Clemons played against an option offense: Lowndes High School ran a Wing-T.
"I'm used to the short linemen trying to cut. That's the biggest thing. In high school we didn't run the option like they do, but as far as the linemen cut-blocking, it's basically the same thing."
Harvey-Clemons has played in every game this season, but mostly on special teams. He has nine tackles.