Richt: Mitchell to Play WR in 2013

ATHENS - Georgia coach Mark Richt quickly shot down a pre-bowl storyline on Tuesday that was being kept alive during the last week.

That a tug of war still might go on for Malcolm Mitchell between offense and defense.

Richt ended that by firmly answering the question of what he thought Mitchell's role would be in 2013.

"What do I think it's going to be? Wide receiver," Richt said. "I doubt he plays any more corner. I think he needs to play one position."

That news got reporters typing. Richt seemed amused.

"Man, everybody's typing like mad now," he said. "Tweet it. Tweet it. Tweet it out. Go ahead, tweet it. …Writing and typing. It's like a frenzy. It's like piranhas."

Mitchell, a sophomore from Valdosta, started three games early in the season at cornerback before returning full-time to receiver in October.

Mitchell, who leads Georgia with 40 catches for 572 yards and four touchdowns, said last week that receiver was his preference "because I love doing it."

Mithchell moved to cornerback last winter after attrition sapped the Bulldogs of depth there. Early-season suspensions in the secondary made him even more needed.

"First of all, he wanted to do it," Richt said. "Second of all, it became where like we felt like we needed him to do it. If he's going to be the best he can be at either position, I think he needs to concentrate on just one of them and receiver is where he's going to be."

Quarterback Aaron Murray, speaking after Richt's postpractice media session was over, said he read Richt's comments about Mitchell on Twitter.

"I saw a tweet on that," Murray said. "I'm happy for Malcolm because I've talked to him about it. I think he feels great about just being able to focus on one position. I know he wanted to think big and play offense and defense and special teams, but it's tough playing all those positions. Not saying he can't do it because he probably is one of the best athletes on our team and one of the best athletes in the country. If he wants to be a DB, if he had a whole offseason to do just that, I think he'd be great. I definitely think he's more comfortable on offense. I think he enjoys offense. I'm definitely happy he's back on offense, that's for sure."

QB Mason `deserves to play'

Even if Murray returns for his senior season, Huston Mason is in line to get playing time, Richt said.

Mason, a junior, has redshirted this season, but was on standby in case Murray went down with injury.

"I think Hutson certainly deserves to play," Richt said. "He's earned the right to play. Managing that will be a whole other question. The question of, `Is he ready to play and has he earned the right to play?' I'd say yes. To sit here and try to say what that's going to looklike, I wouldn't get into that. Guys at all positions get to a certain point where you feel like as a coach that they can perform and do well. Hutson has reached that point in his career I think."

Rome may take pass on hoops this winter

Tight end Jay Rome sounds like he won't spend this winter playing for the Georgia basketball team.

The redshirt freshman was a reserve forward for the Bulldogs last season, but has a more prominent role now on the football team.

"I'm thinking about maybe just focusing all on football and getting ready for next season," Rome said. "I have a heightened role now on the team. Coaches are more dependant on me. I just might need a break from it all, but that's not a 100 percent answer."

Rome said he hasn't made up his mind, but has spoken to both Richt and basketball coach Mark Fox.

"Coach Fox said I could still come out after the bowl game and he'd be happy to have me," Rome said.

Jones makes progress but injuries mount

It was probably a good thing Georgia didn't practice Sunday and went indoors on Monday for a scaled-back session because the injury list is growing.

Receiver Tavarres King was listed as out with a strained hamstring. Mitchell was limited with a strained groin.

Among those also out: nose guard John Jenkins (concussion) and running back Richard Samuel (sprained shoulder).

Among those also limited: linebacker Mike Gilliard (strained hamstring), receiver Rhett McGowan (sprained wrist).

The good news for the Bulldogs is defensive end Abry Jones has begun running at practice as he tries to return from ankle surgery. He's still limited from contact.

This and that

Former Georgia football coach and athletic director Vince Dooley will be signing and selling copies of his book "History and Reminiscences of the University of Georgia" and other of his books at the Alps Road Kroger on Friday from 4 to 6 p.m. Dooley has been on a book tour this month.

Richt on Tuesday's practice: "Just a high-energy level. It should be. We didn't practice the last two (days). They should have been ready to go."

Richt said he doesn't have the report yet to know if there will be any academic casualties for the bowl game.

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