ATHENS - Josh Harvey-Clemons spent the summer trying to put on weight. There were protein shakes. There were many hours in the weight room.
It didn't work too well: On a light day, the Georgia freshman is 208 pounds. On a heavy day, he's all of 210.
So it was no surprise to Harvey-Clemons that on the first day of Georgia preseason practice, he was assigned to safety, instead of the outside linebacker spot many figured he would play.
Harvey-Clemons, rated by many the top football prospect in Georgia last year, thinks he can make safety a permanent home.
"I feel like I can play safety. I really like safety," he said on Thursday. "Especially learning from Shawn Williams and (Bacarri) Rambo, taking what they're showing me, and what they're teaching me, I can really do good things here at safety. But if it's meant for me to play linebacker, I'm ready for that too."
He hasn't done any research on whether anyone that tall has ever played safety.
"It makes it a lot harder for quarterbacks if you've got a 6-5 safety back there," he said.
The Valdosta native is also being taught the so-called "star" position." It's basically a nickel back who guards the flats and zones.
The one spot he hasn't worked at is receiver. That was something head coach Mark Richt mentioned when Harvey-Clemons signed.
"I haven't talked to any of the coaches about it," he said, then added with a laugh: "But I know my grand-dad has been calling me to ask me: 'Are you going to go to receiver, are you gonna go to receiver?' So I guess time will tell."
This isn't the first time Harvey-Clemons' grandfather has come up. Many fans will recall that when Harvey-Clemons initially committed to Georgia, doing so on ESPNU, it took a day for him to actually sign, because Woodrow Clemons, his guardian, wouldn't sign.
Looking back on it now, Harvey-Clemons said people get the wrong impression of his grandfather and what happened over those 24 hours.
"It really was just a miscommunication on both our parts. He was feeling that I was gonna go somewhere, to Florida, because that was really who was contacting me the most and around me the most. But I was thinking something different. And we weren't really talking to each other about it. It was just happening so fast."
He snapped his fingers to accentuate the point.
"So it was a big miscommunication," Harvey-Clemons said.
Now the player's full attention is on mastering the Georgia defense. He played a 5-2 defense at Lowndes High School, so the adjustment to a 3-4 can be a difficult one.
"I'm learning it pretty well right now," he said. "But it's a lot."
And as for his weight, well, that can ... well, wait.
"I'm just waiting on my body," he said. "Because I'm been working hard in the weight room. The protein shakes and all that. I guess it takes time and maturity, really."