Senior receiver Malcolm Mitchell thought it would be a routine visit to Barrow Elementary School.
Located across the street from Butts-Mehre Heritage Hall, Mitchell could hop in, advocate the importance of reading to the young students and come back to prepare for practice. Little did he know, the school had a surprise waiting for him.
Named to the Allstate AFCA Good Works Team earlier this year, Mitchell didn’t know he would be arriving to the school to accept his trophy. It didn’t take long for Mitchell to find out the true reason of why he was stepping into Barrow Elementary.
“They got me,” Mitchell said. “I don’t get surprised too often.”
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The purpose of the Allstate AFCA Good Works Team is to honor college football players who are involved in community service projects in their respective area.
Mitchell is one of 22 college football players – 11 from FBS and 11 from FCS, Division II, Division III and NAIA – to earn Good Works Team honors. He became the 16th Georgia player named to the list in the award’s 24-year history.
Mitchell said he was prepared to give a speech similar to what he’s done before when he was notified he’d be receiving the award.
“It didn’t take much convincing,” Mitchell said. “I walked in, began to give my spiel, and then they came in and surprised me.”
Admitting to reading at a junior-high level as a freshman, Mitchell now campaigns for childhood literacy. He'll visit various schools, read to them and speak about how important it is for children to begin reading at a young age. Mitchell now reads regularly and recently wrote a children’s book titled “The Magician’s Hat.”
Mitchell said he’s come a long way since arriving to Athens five years ago.
“My mentality was a lot different walking into college than it is now,” Mitchell said. “I’ve just learned a lot as an individual, through experiences and reading. It’s shaped the way I carry myself in general.”