“And I don’t think the NFL plans on shutting down anytime soon.”

Malcolm Mitchell is the early leader in the clubhouse for the Dawg I’ll be rooting for most next season.  Not just because he decided to come back, but because he put so much thought into his decision.

The story of a star college football player joining a (previously) all-women’s book club made for a feel-good feature, picked up by “CBS Sunday Morning”, among others. But it was also a window into the changed person that Mitchell became after the injuries.

“It placed a value in a lot of different areas,” said Mitchell, who grew up in Valdosta. “Coming from not a financial stable home the first thing in your mind is to make the most money you can. Just make the money so you can take care of your family.

“But there’s ways of going about it, from long term to short term. So you can leave early, and you can make the money. But it probably won’t be a long-term process, as if you stick around and get a little more educated.”

The long-term goal still includes playing football as long as his body will let him. Mitchell said he believes he always could and still can play at the next level.

“For how long, who knows,” he said. “But I want to know after that I still can provide a positive outlook on student-athletes somehow, based on how my mind can produce, not my body.”

Not to say he doesn’t have big dreams.

But making it to the NFL still remains Mitchell’s obsession. He met with NFL consultant Joe Mendes and asked the NFLPA for an draft grade. But he’d go only if he was rated the No. 1 receiver prospect overall and he knows he won’t.

And that is his goal — to be the top-rated NFL prospect — after next season.

“That’s definitely something I want to work towards,” he said.

Stay healthy, man.  And hopefully next year’s offense will be more geared towards your talents.

There was a dramatic decrease in Mitchell’s yards-per-catch – only 8.2 this season, versus 14.3 as a sophomore. Mitchell attributes that to Georgia’s offense, rather than his health. The Bulldogs started the year without Mitchell and Justin Scott-Wesley, two of the more explosive receivers, and were heavily reliant on the run.

“They couldn’t adjust to my style of play because I wasn’t playing at the beginning of the season,” he said. “So I wasn’t expecting them to change all of a sudden when I came back.”

But Mitchell answered “yes” when asked if he was every bit the deep threat he was. He doesn’t feel he’s lost any explosiveness because of the injuries, which also included hamstring injuries as a freshman and sophomore.

He’s promising a show in 2015.  I’m looking forward to seeing one.

13 Comments

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13 responses to ““And I don’t think the NFL plans on shutting down anytime soon.”

  1. JG Shellnutt

    Some of these kids just make you fall in love with them. It’s great to be a Georgia Bulldog.

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  2. Malcolm knows that it is not necessary to know what GOD’S plans are. What a wonderful Man. Valdosta is one of the best towns in Georgia.🎄🎈

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  3. ugadawgguy

    He was easy to like even before the big injury, the book club story, the stifled senior season, and now this. But all of those things just serve to magnify my appreciation for the kid.

    I wish him all the best, both next football season and in general.

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  4. I’ll definitely be rooting for him. Drew, Mitchell & Rome were key to reestablishing UGA as the force in the South Georgia recruiting wars. I would love to see he and JSW with 800+ yards receiving next year. Just don’t celebrate on Nick Chubb’s 1st TD next year.

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  5. I’ll definitely rooting for Malcolm this year and next year’s draft as well.

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  6. I liked Mitchell since day 1 because of his talent and he seemed like a good locker room influence. Then I saw that book club bit and that pushed him up next to Chris Conley and Gurley as my favorite players. I hope the kid lights it up this year.

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  7. Hopefully he and JSW have healthy seasons – we missed their explosiveness this year (or maybe couldn’t take advantage of it). I felt like JSW particularly got the shaft because of our team strengths and weaknesses. At least Mitchell was involved in the screen game.

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  8. Jack Klompus

    Sounds like Coach’s message is working with these guys. I also really liked Kolton Houston’s statement about not being NFL caliber, at this point. Knowledge of self is a good thing and in short supply when you are 22. (queue Taylor Swift song).

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  9. Cosmic Dawg

    All of the above. He’s a DGD and a sweet kid.

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  10. Spike

    We will all be pulling for you! GATA!!

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