Malcolm Mitchell is steadily proving that he can do it all on the field.
In Georgia‚Äôs home contest with Vanderbilt on Saturday, the converted cornerback for the firs time played solid minutes on every unit put onto the field ‚Äî offense, defense and special teams.
He recorded five total tackles, had a run on a reverse for 16 yards, hauled in a reception for six and led the team in with 25 total return yards on three punts. His longest return was 22 yards to set up the Bulldogs in Commodores territory on its opening drive that led to a touchdown.
‚ÄúIt felt real good, it felt really good,‚Äù Mitchell said. ‚ÄúIt‚Äôs always good to be able to do so much and I have no problem doing that.‚Äù
Mitchell switched from wide receiver to cornerback in the offseason after being second on the team in receiving last year. He hauled in 45 receptions for 665 yards and four touchdowns.
Georgia coach Mark Richt has said all along that he planned to slowly ease him back into the offense.
‚ÄúHe really has been a guy who has sacrificed for the team,‚Äù Richt said. ‚ÄúI think his idea of playing both ways was doing what he‚Äôs been doing on offense, and helping on defense. I don‚Äôt think his idea was necessarily to be a full-time defensive football player.
‚ÄúHe‚Äôs done a good job of standing in the gap for us. In time, he‚Äôll play more offensive snaps.‚Äù
The sophomore cornerback wasn‚Äôt sure what it would be like when he switched to the defense, but knew he could lend his talents to a position lacking due to suspensions.
‚ÄúI had no idea (what to expect),‚Äù he said. ‚ÄúIt‚Äôs just something I know we needed, and I stepped in to the role.‚Äù
While Mitchell has only had three touches on offense in 2012, quarterback Aaron Murray is happy to see his big-play threat back in the fold.
‚ÄúIt‚Äôs nice to have Malcolm in there,‚Äù Murray said. ‚Äú(He‚Äôs) definitely a guy that can stretch the field and he‚Äôs just another great receiver. So just adding another weapon ‚Äì I‚Äôm not going to complain having another one out there.‚Äù
Offensive coordinator Mike Bobo shares a similar opinion on the return of a dynamic athlete like Mitchell back to his side of the football.
‚ÄúI‚Äôm looking forward to getting Malcolm back for some more time offensively,‚Äù Bobo said. ‚ÄúHe‚Äôs definitely another talent that can do things with the ball in the hands, and I think everybody is going to be excited about having him back (on offense).‚Äù
And while Mitchell hopes to get more involved in the offense as the season progresses, his team-oriented mindset remains the same.
‚ÄúHopefully (I‚Äôll have) more plays, but really it‚Äôs just whatever we need,‚Äù he said.