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Full Version: Chris Clemons going pro
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First Sullivan, then Smith, now Clemons. Richt probably hopes this is the last defection for the NFL...

Quote:Richt loses another player: LB Clemons opts for draft

By MARK SCHLABACH
Atlanta Journal-Constitution Staff Writer

Athens -- Georgia's football team might want to move the "under construction" signs from its locker room to its practice fields this spring.

The Bulldogs not only have to rebuild their entire offensive line next season, but they also must replace all three starting linebackers. Junior Chris Clemons, expected to be a returning starter at outside linebacker next season, told coach Mark Richt on Thursday that he'll enter April's NFL draft. Clemons is the third Georgia underclassman to declare for the draft this week, along with running back Musa Smith and defensive tackle Johnathan Sullivan.

"It's surprising," Richt said of Clemons' decision. "I don't think it's a wise decision, and I told him that. I didn't try to talk Musa or Sullivan out of it because I can see where that might be the right thing to do. But [with Clemons], it just didn't seem to make any sense to me, academically, financially . . . in a lot of different areas."

Clemons, from Griffin, had 49 tackles in 12 games last season. Richt said Clemons was academically eligible to return to school for spring semester. Clemons' agent, Brooks Henderson, said the NFL underclassman advisory committee told Clemons that he might be drafted in the third or fourth round.

The Bulldogs already had to replace senior linebackers Boss Bailey and Tony Gilbert, their top two tacklers.

"It kind of puts us in the same situation as our offensive line," Richt said. "You lose all your starters. We've got some guys that are going to get an opportunity now."

Freshman Tony Taylor started two games at weakside linebacker last season when Clemons was injured. Freshman Marquis "Mudcat" Elmore, who was redshirted because of a back injury last year, could play middle linebacker or defensive end next season. The Bulldogs have commitments from Des Williams and Danny Verdun, considered the top linebacker prospects in the state.

Also, former Bulldogs linebacker Odell Thurman, who played at Georgia Military College last year, re-enrolled at Georgia on Thursday for spring semester. Richt dismissed Thurman from the team last year for an undisclosed violation of team rules.
Terrible decision i think.
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