Malcolm Mitchell‚Äôs teammates like what they‚Äôve seen from the sophomore after two days of playing defense in spring practice.
His biggest critic so far might be Georgia‚Äôs top receiver from last season ‚Äî that would be Mitchell himself.
‚ÄúIt‚Äôs been rough having to learn everything on the run,‚Äù Mitchell said. ‚ÄúOf course, I just got the material maybe two weeks before we started. It‚Äôs been fun, though.‚Äù
Mitchell, a highly rated cornerback recruit out of Valdosta, has no doubt he‚Äôll be good to go in time for the season opener Sept. 1 against Buffalo.
‚ÄúI‚Äôd say he can do it,‚Äù inside linebacker Christian Robinson said. ‚ÄúHe‚Äôs breaking on balls quicker. Even in warmups, he‚Äôs out there barking at people saying, ‚ÄòLook at me, look at me.‚Äô He‚Äôs not cocky. He works hard and is trying to be the best.‚Äù
Said cornerback Damian Swann: ‚ÄúHe‚Äôs going to be tremendous. He‚Äôs going to help us a lot whenever he needs to play DB.‚Äù
The plan is for the 6-foot-1, 192-pound Mitchell to work almost exclusively at cornerback this spring at a position thinned by dismissals and suspensions.
‚ÄúIn order for Malcolm Mitchell to really be able to function back there, I felt like he needed really the entire spring to really know what to do and be able to get his technique to the point where he could really play SEC football when the season begins,‚Äù coach Mark Richt said. ‚ÄúIf we tried to split practice and split meetings in spring, he would just get lost.‚Äù
Mitchell will be limited to ‚Äúspot play‚Äù on offense in the first two weeks of the season, Richt said, while he helps out at cornerback.
‚ÄúIt may be a blessing,‚Äù Richt said. ‚ÄúThe guy‚Äôs a player.‚Äù
The ring‚Äôs the thing
Georgia players received their Southeastern Conference Eastern Division championship rings on Wednesday.
‚ÄúWe got a little bling bling, you know,‚Äù senior safety Bacarri Rambo said. ‚ÄúI‚Äôm going to wear mine around campus tomorrow. We know we‚Äôve got to show them off. I‚Äôm not going to have my hands in my pocket at all. I‚Äôm going to walk with my hands by my side the whole time and let it shine in the sun.‚Äù
The rings have a big red Georgia ‚ÄúG‚Äù in the middle.
‚ÄúThese rings are nice,‚Äù receiver Chris Conley posted on his Twitter account, one of several players to tweet out photos. ‚ÄúBut I‚Äôm ready to earn a bigger one. #miami 2012.‚Äù The BCS title game at the end of the 2012 season is in Miami.
Rambo said he figures his mother will soon have possession of his ring.
‚ÄúI‚Äôm going to enjoy it while I have it,‚Äù Rambo said.
Drew adjusting to work on D-line
Ray Drew is preparing his body to handle life on the defensive line.
‚ÄúSince I‚Äôm going to be playing there no matter what, I would like to put on the weight so that I can hold my own whenever I‚Äôm down there,‚Äù said Drew, a sophomore who played outside linebacker last season but has practiced as a defensive end the first two practices.
The 6-foot-5, 269-pound Drew still wouldn‚Äôt mind getting up in the 275-pound range this fall..
He expects by the time his Georgia career is over he‚Äôll be in the 285- to 290-pound range.
Drew was a five-start recruit out of Thomasville who had eight tackles last season in limited playing time.
Asked if he‚Äôs more comfortable with his hand in the dirt, Drew said the positions are somewhat similar ‚Äújust one is more wider than the other and then the occasional drop. I just like to be in a position where I can put pressure on the quarterback, stop the run and make plays. I‚Äôm a player. That‚Äôs what I like to do.‚Äù
Commings sentenced to probation, counseling
Cornerback Sanders Commings pleaded guilty Tuesday in State Court in Athens to misdemeanor charges of simple battery and disorderly conduct stemming from a January arrest.
He received 12 months probation and was fined $200 plus surcharges, according to a court clerk. His case was heard by Judge Charles Auslander. Commings had an arraignment scheduled for today. He pleaded as a first-time offender.
Commings, represented by Athens attorney Ed Tolley, also must serve 40 hours of community service, undergo substance abuse and anger management counseling.
Athens-Clarke County Solicitor General C.R. Chisholm said last week that the maximum jail time for simple battery is 12 months, but that most simple battery cases do not result in jail time.
The senior was suspended last month by Richt for two games. He started every game last season and was tied for fourth on the team with 55 tackles.
He was arrested on the morning of Jan. 21 on a charge of domestic violence/simple battery after police said Commings hit a woman in downtown Athens who had lived with him.
This and that
Linebacker Ramik Wilson from Tampa was absent for the second straight day. He is expected to return today after the death of his father last week, according to Georgia. … Conley continues to practice in a non-contact jersey with a a cast on his left wrist. … Sophomore Corey Moore said he‚Äôs been working strictly at safety and hasn‚Äôt gotten reps at cornerback this spring. … Georgia will put on pads for the first time this spring today.