December 17, 2012

Where will Mitchell play?

With Georgia's 2013 secondary set to include so many new faces, could Malcolm Mitchell find himself back at cornerback for the Bulldogs next fall?

Defensive coordinator Todd Grantham apparently wouldn't mind.

"We'll do what's best for the team, but obviously, he's a talented guy who can play on both sides of the ball. He's got ball skills, that's why he can make plays on offense," Grantham said after practice Monday. "His length, his ability to play tight coverage and his transition allow him to play close to receivers and cover guys. He's a physical guy who can tackle, plus he's got ball skills. All those things will make him a premier corner. There's no doubt in my mind he can be one of the best corners in the SEC. What we do though, will really be discussed later, down the road, to do what's best for the team. But it's a good problem to have because we're talking about a talented guy."

Mitchell showed he could play both this fall.

With the early-season suspension of Sanders Commings and Bacarri Rambo, Mitchell started three games at corner against Missouri, Florida Atlantic and Vanderbilt before moving back to offense full-time where he caught 40 passes for 572 yards and four touchdowns.

Offensive coordinatorMike Bobo obviously hopes offense is where Mitchell will stay.

"He's offense right now," Bobo said. "But whatever we need to do as a football team, that's what we'll do so hopefully. But if Coach (Mark Richt) says he's going to go both ways, he'll go both ways."

Grantham said there's no doubt that Mitchell can, although if he does, coaches will have to pick his spots.

"The thing about defense, I don't control run or pass, you've got to be ready for both. Defensively you can control packages and what you can do. We've had him ready, for example, even in the Championship game to play some third down, so you can do things like that," Grantham said. "You've just got to have a little defining of what the role is and what it's going to be. The thing about it is, defensively, you've got to play run and pass. You can play certain situations, but it's a little bit more difficult to do it that way."

Regarding freshman corner Sheldon Dawson: "Sheldon is right at 190 pounds, he's got speed. His junior year in high school he averaged about 20 yards a carry, and he's explosive, he's a willing tackler. He's just young and he's got to get reps, but the obvious thing about him he'll get a lot of chances this spring to compete and do those types of thing. But he's really improved and we like where he's at right now." - Grantham

Terry confirms torn ACL

Goose Creek wide receiver Tramel Terry tweeted and later confirmed to UGASports in a text that tests revealed he did in fact tear his ACL during last last Saturday's Shrine Bowl.

"I haven't had the MRI, but from the tests, year," said Terry, when asked if his ACL was torn.

Terry said he will undergo an MRI by Wednesday before having the surgery in Athens.

Would Bobo like to be a head coach?

Although Bobo declined to comment his name being linked to some of the recent head coaching positions in college football, he did acknowledge his desire to run his own program one day.

"I think we all aspire to run our own program one day," Bobo said. "I'm just constantly trying to learn and get better. If it happens, it happens but if not I'll control the only thing I can control and that's coaching here."

Sources had Bobo interviewing for the head coaching job at Southern Mississippi, among others, but the former Bulldog quarterback wouldn't confirm.

"I'm not going to comment on anything other than that first question there," he said.

Offensive line spots apparently up for grabs

Just because the season is over with the exception of the upcoming Capital One Bowl game against Nebraska, that doesn't mean starting spots on the Bulldog offensive line won't be up for grabs.

"They were told that since it was a long period of practice that the people who performed the best would play and have a chance to start so we're mixing some guys in at some different spots to look at some different combinations, things you probably would not be able to do in the short amount of time in a week," offensive line coach Will Friend said. "We've said from Day 1 our goal is to play with the best five, so a couple of different lineups, a couple of different things may provide some of that at some time."

That includes left tackle where Kenarious Gates and Mark Beard will battle for the starting role, although Friend made it clear that moving forward, he's keeping all of his options open.

"Obviously, Ken can play it and we can play it a good level with Ken. Is Ken better suited for guard if somebody else is a better left tackle? Maybe. Mark Beard's improved some and has dome some good things, but he's still got a ways to go," Friend said. "Maybe he's more of a guard if somebody's better at left tackle. We'll play the best five. Our best tackle will be the left tackle, whoever that is."

Bobo and Friend also gave their assessments regarding three of Georgia's younger backups currently vying for playing time.

Greg Pyke - "Greg Phas stuck out. He's a guy who's big, strong, that's very athletic, he just doesn't know what to do right now, but we like what we saw out of him. He's a guy who showed up and did some good things." - Bobo.

Zzavier Ward - "Xzavier was hurt last year and really didn't think we'd get a lot out of him, and he's done more than what we expected him to do. He got to play in five or six games. He's a long way from where he needs to be but he's shown some improvement in some things." - Friend.

Zach Debell - "It is what it is. He's third team playing with the three." - Friend.

This and that

Rainy weather pushed the Georgia football team indoors on Monday as preparations continued for the New Year's Day Capital One Bowl. The fifth-ranked Bulldogs utilized the Nalley Multipurpose Room at the Butts-Mehre Heritage Hall for Monday's session. The offense did a walk-through while the defense had meetings and watched film for the first hour, then the segments switched places for the second hour.According to running backs coach Bryan McClendon, the Bulldogs focused on Nebraska for most of the session, Georgia's fifth practice of bowl preparations. "We really were able to sink our teeth into the game plan," McClendon said. "We started repping what we plan to do versus Nebraska, seeing the looks we expect to get versus Nebraska, things like that. We probably did more today toward the game plan than we've done the rest of bowl practice," McClendon said. "I think we've had a real good beginning to bowl practice. Now, as coaches say, we're only as good as the next one, so we're expecting another good one Tuesday. The effort has been there, the guys have been sharp, we've practiced hard and we've stayed free of injuries. Hopefully we can keep that up."