It’s nice to be wanted.

When it comes to Malcolm Mitchell’s future, it sounds like Todd Grantham is reluctant to take no for an answer.

“We’ll do what’s best for the team,” Grantham said. “I think what you have is a really talented guy that can play on either side of the ball. He’s got ball skills, and he’s explosive, so he can make plays on offense.”

Grantham then proceeded to go into a minute-long explanation of what Mitchell could do on the defensive side of the ball.

“The thing that makes him more premier as a defensive guy is he has length, some aggressive play to him,” Grantham said. “He can cover bigger type receivers. He can cover those bigger guys on vertical routes and possession routes. But he has ball skills, so when the ball is in the air as a corner, he has just as much right and he’s gonna be in position to make plays there too. And he’s a willing tackler and he can tackle and he’s a big guy. Those things are significant attributes for a corner.”

Grantham added that the tug-of-war for Mitchell’s services was a “good problem to have.”

Mark Richt will referee the tug of war.  The interesting thing to watch will be what the personnel dictates.  That’s what moved Mitchell to defense to start this season.  They’re losing a bunch in the secondary after this year, but you have to wonder if this will factor into Richt’s thinking as well.

Receiver Tramel Terry of Goose Creek, S.C., confirmed via his Twitter account on Monday that he tore his ACL in Saturday’s Shrine Bowl All-Star Game. Terry tweeted that he would get surgery in Athens this week.

Terry was hurt on the opening kickoff of the Shrine Bowl, which matches the top players from North and South Carolina.

Terry planned to enroll for the spring semester at Georgia, which he still may do. But the surgery would definitely prevent him from going through spring practice, and it makes taking a redshirt year very likely. That is a setback not only for Terry but the Bulldogs, who graduate two starting receivers (Marlon Brown and Tavarres King), and could use the depth.

During the course of this season, Georgia lost Brown and sophomore Michael Bennett to season-ending knee injuries. Bennett, who was hurt in practice in October, said recently he expects to be fully healthy by preseason practice for the 2013 season.

The Bulldogs are also set to have Malcolm Mitchell, Chris Conley and Rantavious Wooten, all of whom were members of the regular rotation this year. Justin Scott-Wesley, Rhett McGowan and several other recruits will also figure into the mix.

How many polished, explosive receivers do you see in that bunch?

****************************************************************************************

UPDATE:  Bobo 1, Grantham 0.

46 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

46 responses to “It’s nice to be wanted.

  1. rugbydawg79

    Senator I see one- However I remain optimistic about Bennett’s return and development of Conley and JSW–there is also hope that JUCO Rumph will make an impact

  2. Uglydawg

    With the continued development of the O line and running game, Georgia may well be fine if the passing game takes a half-step backwards. If Murray bolts to the NFL, it will be unthinkable to expect the passing game not to suffer. I say play Malcome on defense and run the ball a little more. He could still play some offense.

    • Macallanlover

      Good point, this year the passing threat opened up the running game for us so next year it may work in reverse. It seemed the loss of Bennett and Brown helped Murray find the TE more late in the season so I think we will still be proficient on offense. The Senator is right, we still need another WR to emerge but it looks like we have several options and only need one of those to give us what we need. I hope MB is able to get back to 90% of what he was this past season but that might be optimistic. JSW and one of the freshmen could provide that needed depth.

      I am torn about MM, he is unquestionably needed on both sides of the ball but defense is our biggest concern at this point. From a total UGA point of view I want him at CB next year, but for what is best for him to develop the skills that will maximize his pro career? You can make a case for both given his talents but there seems to be a greater need for top-notch CBs than receivers in the NFL from what I can see. I would give the nod to CTG in this one but fairness seems to dictate letting Mitchell have a say. He has made enough of a case already as a receiver, lots of film on him at WR, but he might really benefit by showing he can be that tough, capable CB next year. I doubt he will lose the offensive skills he has already proven himself to have, so why not add the other option? I may be blinded by my desires to do what would help the Dawgs most, but I come down on the side of the defense getting him for 2013.

    • Are you crazy?!?!?! Everyone knows how much better Hutson is than Murray. Every. One.

      • Uglydawg

        Spence, I hope they’re right about that. That would be amazing wouldn’t it? But even if there is another great passer waiting in the wings, he will be a rookie and will have to be bought along slowly. This is where the emerging running game will be so helpful. I would hate to see a brand new qb having to throw the ball as much as AM has had to and with the pressure, both physical and mental, he’s endured. When we look back at what AM accomplished under really tough circumstances, we’re going to admire him and his receivers greatly.

        • I was being sarcastic, but yes it would be amazing.

          • Mayor of Dawgtown

            Don’t be sarcastic about Mason, Spence. I agree that Murray should be the starter (hell, he should be named an AA in all fairness) but Mason is pretty damn good, too and probably would start for every team in the SEC save UGA and Bama. Except for the game experience factor there is not a big dropoff from Murray to Mason.

            • What do you base that assessment on, Mayor? What little I’ve seen of Mason indicates his arm isn’t as strong as Murray’s and his release isn’t as quick.

              • Mayor of Dawgtown

                I’m assuming (always dangerous) that Mason is getting the same coaching/strength training as Murray and that his arm strength has improved along with Murray’s. Mason supposedly has been at practice every day as the real back-up even though he’s being redshirted. We haven’t seen him in a game this season so we don’t really know.

            • You’d rather Mason over Bray?

              Look, I hope Mason can be great, and the coaches seem to applaud his knowledge of the system and his accuracy. They also said that about Joe Cox. There’s just a segment of the fanbase that will always long for the #2 QB, and that’s who I was making fun of.

              • Mayor of Dawgtown

                Bray’s a head case. Great arm though. Joe Cox suffered from (1) Lack of real game experience before becoming the starter; (2) Only getting to play one year; and (3) being saddled with a Willie defense. Cox actually pulled out some close games for UGA (remember ’09 UGA-Arkansas and UGA-Arizona State?) Without a QB as good as Joe Cox the ’09 Dawgs could easily been 6-6 or worse. JC was a DGD, IMHO.

              • Macallanlover

                I would also prefer Mason over Bray. Bray may mature and learn to use his talents productively at some point but he is not a leader and seems to have some serious character issues. Even my friends that are TN fans want him to turn pro so they can begin the long road back. Most doubt he will have the grades to continue, or can survive another off-season. Talent potential can only take you so far and, like IC, you can see what a cancer can do to team morale.

  3. Always Someone Else's Fault

    Imagine Mitchell 1-on-1 with Cooper on that play action bomb late in the 4th.

    Now. imagine a WR who could have filled Mitchell’s role in the SCCG – 4 for 40, fast enough to hold the safety on his side of the field for 3 seconds. The SEC has tons of those guys.

    Mitchell on defense is a necessity. Offense? A luxury.

    Most teams that get this close to championship can look back and honestly say they were 1 player away. Georgia 2012 was 1 player away, IMO – not another Mitchell, just another above-average speed guy on the outside.

  4. Mike Cooley

    I’m surprised by how many people seem so on board with putting the guy who is clearly our biggest playmaker at wr on defense. ??? What am I missing? Bennett is a good player but he just doesn’t have the big play capability that Mitchell has. Same deal with Conley. At this point in Wooten’s career I think it’s safe to say that he’s just an average wr. Nothing wrong with that. But with those facts in mind, I don’t understand why so many are ready to send Mitchell to defense. And I read stuff about what a monster of a defender he was. I must have missed something because I didn’t see it. Mitchell to defense is not going to make an appreciable difference when you consider what we are losing on that side of the ball. Leave him on offense.

  5. Cosmic Dawg

    I would post a link to “Both Sides Now”, an apropos song by Malcolm’s mom, Joni Mitchell.

    But I would not molest my friends at GTP with that sonic horror.

  6. Gary

    There is not another reciever on the team that makes that catch and run against Florida. He is more valuable as a reciever.

  7. CitadelDawg

    MM26 is the best receiver we’ve got for next year, though I’m hopeful Bennett comes back well and that other guys grow to contribute. If Bennett and Brown had been healthy, I think Malcolm may have played both ways. Next year, I say MM26 needs to stay on Offense unless a couple of the guys currently red-shirting or new recruits arriving on campus show that they can fill the large gap he’d leave by moving back to defense again.

  8. Russ

    Well, just in case CMR is reading this, I vote that Mitchell stay on offense. It’s MM’s preference, and I think he makes a bigger impact there.

    • Greg

      I think his preference is whichever position is going to make him millions in the NFL. Personally, I think his future(beyond) UGA is at defensive back. He obviously realizes that UGA is doing him no favors by playing him both ways. He can’t improve as quickly at either position without the practice and game reps.

      Say what you will about Bama, but their numbers prevent them from having to do something like this. Our coaches tug of war to determine what’s “best for the team” could hurt the kids ability to make a living playing the game he loves. I’m sure every UGA fan selfishly wants him to do what’s best for the team too. Well, guess what? While MM and other elite athletes care about their schools, their primary concern is doing what they have to do to prepare themselves for the next level. Can’t blame them for that if they really have the tools to get there and MM does.

      Champ Bailey was always looked at as a very good db who was a good enough athlete to also play some WR in college. In Mslcolm’s case, he’ll be a JR next year and they’re still debating which position is best for him. They need to be fair to the kid and quit fighting over him because they put themselves in a bad numbers situation.

      • Cojones

        Mitchell has already stated that his preference is offense next year. If Grantham is unable to recruit a player or two to cover that position after two years, why should it be up to the O to sacrifice? That says a great deal about everyone’s opinion as to how good Bobo is (able to cobble an O together after sharing his best player), but I don’t see the love expressed in writing. Have some of you been cowed by naysayers on here and are afraid to say he is that good after all the blogging acrimony shoved his way? Shame on you posing as a Dawg. We don’t want any coach turnover now, but to put one coaches needs above another, giving Grantham a raise to boot….is that what we want?

        I love Bobo’s O that he has created with Mitchell a central part and the continuity there is more important than the average play of an O star on D. Whatever Bobo wants to do, I support. Some of us (me included) should divest ourselves of the hard-headed wrong-headed encasement we find surrounding our Dawg love. Bobo’s my man and I like the team and the O scheme we have in place. Don’t disrupt the team and the O scheme we have in place. Mitchell played as a filler for a suspended player last year. That won’t be the case next year and I hope this isn’t a Tramel Terry panic setting in already.

        Get to work, Grantham, before you have some ‘splainin’ to do.

  9. Bright Idea

    What Mike Cooley said. What will UGA do for a corner when Mitchell leaves? Tramel Terry?

  10. Ginny

    Maybe I’m in the minority, but I wasn’t extremely impressed with Mitchell on defense this year. Obviously the sample size wasn’t very large but I didn’t see anything that made me think “shutdown corner”. Certainly he’s a physical freak of nature but please keep that kid on offense.

  11. Mike Cooley

    Same here Ginny. Greg, what did you see from him on defense that makes you think THAT is where his future is?

  12. HVL Dawg

    I don’t see Mitchell taking too many hits from tailbacks. He doesn’t have the body or the temperament to stop the run.

    Play Boo Malcolm at corner.

    Btw, what happened to Branden Smith this year?

  13. sUGArdaddy

    Sorry, but Mitchell has to stay on O. He’s a game changer. Bama wouldn’t dare put Cooper at corner. Bottom line is that Mitchell made the most iconic and meaningful offensive play in the last 25 years of Georgia Football. No way you can put him on D. We get him for one more year. We need to develop corners, and we’re going to have to outscore people next year anyway.

    Now, the first game? We might need a little help in the nickel. I say switch every play. “Swann, you cover that #2 this play, MM, you cover him the next play.” Rinse. Repeat.

  14. stoopnagle

    We pay Grantham a lot more than Bobo. Presumably, that’s because he’s so awesome. He should be able to figure out how to field a good defense without our best WR.

  15. Rik Smits

    I didn’t see the impact when Mitchell was on defense, although i agree with Grantham and others that the potential (and future in the NFL) is there. He is clearly our best receiver on offense, especially when you factor in big play potential. What’s best for the team? Probably defense based solely on the talent coming back (or coming in) at DB. It pains me to say that because i really love him on offense too, i just see the greater need on defense. I see the dilemma the coaches face and they are paid to win at UGA, not to do whats best for a given players draft prospects.

  16. Pingback: DawgsOnline » Schedule will force a quicker decision on Mitchell

  17. Connor

    Not that it matters, but I think he should stay on offense. We’ve all seen how quickly depth can change. Move him to DB then Bennett suffers a setback and Conley has some injury in week 1 and we’re back to saying he needs to move again. The Richard Samual/Kiante Tripp experience. He’s an exceptional wide receiver and potentially a good corner. No sense in sacrificing a sure thing on one side of the ball for a possible on the other.

  18. Macallanlover

    I am really OK with whatever the coaches feel is best, MM is a dynamic athlete and able to help at 2-3 positions, that is a blessing, not a reason for everyone to bow their back. I also saw more contribution on offense than on defense but respect what CTG said. If he has the ability to play solidly at CB in the NFL, he would be more valuable. Not minimizing it but there are a lot of good, quality receivers produced every year, and you can always go back to that. I agree he would make more money as a top CB than a middle of the road WR. I also feel we will find enough receivers to make the offense hum next season, not that MM wouldn’t be one of our two best, just that I am more worried about our defensive fall off. It comes down to team, not MM’s preference to me. But I am not mad either way, I don’t care if he takes a pick back for a TD against Clem’s Son. or beats their DB’s deep for one. Just be ready for that tough September guys.

    • HVL Dawg

      Some Clemson friends, with great tickets and great parking, promised three years ago to have me and my wife as their guests. For three years they reminded me about every 3 months that I’m going to the game with them in 2013.

      I can’t wait to see us score 70 in Death Valley.

  19. Macallanlover

    The last game I went to in Death Valley was 1981, we fumbled nine times and very few of them were forced. Don’t know what the water was spiked with that day but we lost the game about 13-9 and looked drugged. After seeing a grown woman with an Orange Tiger Paw inlaid in an eye tooth I decided I wasn’t comfortable around those folks. I will leave that game in your capable hands. With the OC gone and Boyd a question mark to come back, I like our chances to get off to a fast start….if we field a full team.