ATHENS – There is one notable name absent from the offensive stat sheet from Georgia’s two preseason scrimmages: Malcolm Mitchell.
Yes, the sophomore is working at cornerback, as expected, where he will play to start the season. But while the coaches say he will get some snaps on offense, that apparently has yet to happen in the scrimmages.
“But the guy’s still paying attention, he still knows what’s going on on offense,” sophomore receiver Chris Conley said of Mitchell. “So I think it’d be seamless for him to come over to the other side of the ball, really.”
Conley was asked to appraise Mitchell as a cornerback.
“His game is so different from other guys, because he’s so versatile,” Conley said. “He has a lot of size, a lot of speed, a lot of quickness. He has a lot of different attributes, and he also has so many tools he can use, that he can make plays in all sorts of situations.”
Conley said he benefited from a more featured role in Wednesday’s scrimmage. The sophomore was credited with 114 receiving yards, and one touchdown, on four catches.
Conley emerged as a good possession receiver last year. But on Wednesday he got a chance for more “out of the ordinary” routes, such as deep balls and plays where he lined up in the slot.
“They threw the ball underneath me to a lot to me,” Conley said. “I made plays on the outside, some on the inside, some deep, some intermediate. So it was a good scrimmage overall in different areas of the field. So it wasn’t really one-sided. I got to use a lot of different parts of my game.”
Absent Mitchell, the Bulldogs are looking for receivers that can be home-run threats.
“It’s a big, big year for me to show I can be a consistent receiver but also one that can be explosive,” Conley said. “A guy that needs to be accounted for.”
LeMay vs. Mason
The announced plan is for junior quarterback Hutson Mason to redshirt, a condition of his deciding not to transfer after last season. But more than halfway through camp Mason is still getting more snaps than Christian LeMay, the redshirt freshman due to be Aaron Murray’s main backup.
Mason had 18 pass attempts in Wednesday’s scrimmage, while LeMay had just five. (Each threw an interception.) Richt cautioned that LeMay and Mason may have been closer to each other in the number of snaps, that LeMay may have been in there for more running plays.
“Hutson’s the No.2 quarterback today. I’ve been saying that awhile,” Richt said. “He’s gonna be the No. 2 quarterback unless LeMay beats him out, all the way out until game whatever, I don’t know what game it is. If by the grace of God we’re 8-0 and something happened to Murray, (Mason) may be the starter.”
Morgan and Barber updates
The freshman kickers appeared to have good days on Wednesdays. Place-kicker Marshall Morgan made his only field goal attempt in the scrimmage, from 42 yards. Collin Barber averaged 49.5 yards on two punts.
During pre-scrimmage drills, when there were attempts in quick succession, Morgan did miss some kicks. But he also made a 52-yarder, according to Richt.
“I’m not ready to name them the number ones right now,” Richt said. “Today gave me a better peace of them being where they are. But I’m not gonna name them starters yet. But it was impressive – the punts were impressive, and once we got into the drill work, Marshall was 100 percent and looking pretty good doing it.”
Sophomore defensive end Ray Drew (concussion) returned from an absence of about a week. He was credited with four tackles. ...
Mitchell and fellow cornerbacks Damian Swann and Branden Smith also participated in the scrimmage. They had been practicing in a limited capacity due to minor injuries.
Richt said there weren't any "earth-shattering" injuries in the scrimmage.