Thursday, March 14, 2013

Malcolm - year three

Did you know? - Mitchell has never had multiple 
touchdown games? And has only eight for his career.

During the off season it's easy to glance over Malcolm Mitchell's name given all of the other positions of interest this spring. After all, wide receiver is not a roster spot that's in for a total upheaval like...well, virtually every position on defense.

But while remembering where we were this time last year coming off of Mitchell's spectacular freshman season (and also my vocal support of moving him to defense, a la Champ Bailey), I thought it'd be worth a look at what we might have in store for us with a full season of Mitchell at wideout. I mean, he's clearly a difference maker there and is poised to have a very big season with King gone and Murray staying.

So long Louchiez! (via)
So, for a little background let's recall that during his freshman year Mitchell had 45 catches for 665 yards and four touchdowns. He started nine of the 11 games he appeared in. His breakout game was in Knoxville with three catches for 126 yards before he was injured. At the end of the seasons he was voted by the SEC coaches as Freshman All-SEC.

Of course last season he began the year on defense and was really only used in spot duty the first four games (2 catches for 43 yards, 1 rush for 16 yards). After the Vanderbilt game though his role officially reversed and he finished the season second on the team with 572 yards on 40 catches, four touchdowns. His breakout game is probably considered Kentucky because he ran hog wild through their secondary to the tune of nine catches for 103 yards. But it was the Florida game where we really saw how useful his skills could be in determining the outcome of the game.

In the throes of a heated defensive contest, with the SEC East in the balance, Mitchell and Florida cornerback Louchiez Purifoy were going toe to toe. Play after play the individual battle between the two became more and more intense. In fact, Mitchell was flagged for a personal foul/unsportsmanlike conduct penalty even after making a first down catch. He thought his time on the field was done before Richt pushed him back out there. And Bobo kept calling his number, sure that it would pay off in the end.

And it did. Mitchell caught the next two passes as well, the second of which went 45 yards for the deciding touchdown.

Case in point, he's a difference maker and stands to have a big season in 2013 as Murray's number one target. Although he has totaled 1237 yards in his first two season, if he can stay healthy I see no reason he can't challenge Terrance Edwards' season record of 1004 yards. And if he can do that, should he somehow choose to stay for his senior season, Malcolm could enter into the discussion as one of the all time greats to wear the G.