Aug. 28, 2012
ATHENS --- Malcolm Mitchell is having fun. Having transitioned from being one of Georgia’s best wide receivers in 2011, the sophomore from Valdosta, Ga., is now trying to make an impact on the defensive side of the ball.
“I’m having a lot of fun now that I’ve learned all the schemes,” Mitchell said. “It’s really good knowing both sides of the ball, you just feel good that you know both of them.”
It was in the spring that Mitchell, along with the Georgia coaches, made the decision to switch him from receiver to play primarily as a cornerback. Mitchell spent the majority of his high school career in that position, before a senior year switch altered the way the Bulldogs used Mitchell in his freshman collegiate season.
Having had all of spring practice as well as preseason, Mitchell is now feeling more comfortable in the defensive system. He said that, while in the Spring he knew what he was supposed to do, he struggled learning when to do it.
“Not being sure is very dangerous,” he said. “I feel like I know what to do, but if I’m not sure about it, I might not do it and if I don’t do it they might score. Now I’m sure about it. During Spring, I was looking back at the safeties to make sure.”
While he has settled with the defense and will begin the season on that side of the ball, Mitchell still wants to play offense and said at times he does miss working with the receiving corps.
Despite this he said he is comfortable in the knowledge that he will still play the position that saw him catch 45 passes for 665 yards and four touchdowns in 2011.
“When I look at the receivers I know I’m going to be back over there because I’m going to be doing both,” Mitchell said “As long as I’m doing both it doesn’t matter which one I do.”
Mitchell also confirmed he has been working as a punt returner and hopes to take that role when Georgia begins the 2012 season at home against Buffalo on Saturday. While playing both ways could appear daunting, it is a challenge that Mitchell embraces and is looking forward to.
“It really wouldn’t matter if in the middle of a game, with no practice, they decided to switch me over to offense,” he said. “I feel like it’s really good. If I’m playing offense and somebody goes down (on defense) I can just go in because now I know. You can always learn more, but the basics of what I need to know to play the position I’ve already learned.”