Georgia's Josh Harvey-Clemons Suspended First Three Games of 2014 Season

Alex SimsCorrespondent IIIJanuary 16, 2014

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For the second straight year, one of Georgia's best defensive players will start the season as a spectator.

Chip Towers of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported Thursday that Bulldogs safety Josh Harvey-Clemons will be suspended for the first three games of UGA's 2014 season.

Harvey-Clemons also missed Georgia's 2013 season opener against Clemson after he admitted to smoking marijuana in his dorm room with a teammate. 

The missed time will be a continuation of the suspension that left him sitting at home as the Dawgs fell to Nebraska 24-19 in the Gator Bowl. 

Towers detailed that the situation at first appeared to be an academic issue and that Harvey-Clemons' grandfather was adamant that the suspension wouldn't carry over to next season:

The Bulldogs announced before Christmas that Harvey-Clemons would be not accompany the team to Jacksonville for the bowl due to an undisclosed “violation of team regulations.” A few days later, Harvey-Clemons’ grandfather and legal guardian, Woodrow Clemons, told the AJC his grandson’s suspension was academically related and would not carry over to next season.

However, according to Towers, the Valdosta, Ga., native had actually violated the team's marijuana-use policy, resulting in a four-game suspension per the athletic department's student-athlete disciplinary guidelines. Having already missed one game, he'll be required to sit out the first three of next season.

He noted that UGA officials declined comment on the situation.

Harvey-Clemons will miss tough contests against Clemson and South Carolina to start the season, as well as another nonconference matchup with Troy. He is slated to return Sept. 27 at home against Tennessee. See UGA's full 2014 schedule here.

Despite missing the bookends of the 2013 season, the junior-to-be was No. 3 on the team with 66 tackles, including 5.5 for a loss. He also pulled down one interception, broke up five passes, forced two fumbles and recovered three.

Corey Moore, who will be a senior next season, is listed as the backup to Harvey-Clemons. It was Moore who started in his place in the Gator Bowl. He logged 35 tackles on the year and an interception.

In addition to missing Harvey-Clemons, the Bulldogs will be starting the season with a new defensive coordinator, Jeremy Pruitt, who was officially introduced Wednesday.