UGA football updates on Mitchell, Samuel, Lynch, Murray, Rambo

ATHENS – As promised, here’s a little bit from each of the football players who were available for interviews today at UGA’s Butts-Mehre Heritage Hall.

WR MALCOLM MITCHELL:

The rising sophomore, who wowed the SEC with his big-play ability as a pass-catcher last season, not only hopes to play some defensive back next season, but said he has also raised his hand as a possible kick returner this year.

Mitchell’s not sure how much of any of it Georgia’s coaches will allow him to do. But he’s already working some with the cornerbacks during weekly voluntary workouts on the field.

“I don’t know how seriously Coach Richt is truly looking at it,” he said. “There’s probably a lot he’s still got to think about. I’ll know once spring starts.”

Mitchell said he has met with defensive coordinator Todd Grantham and secondary coach Scott Lakatos to discuss the possibilities. All parties have agreed to give him a look at cornerback during spring practice, which begins March 20. But as for the logistics, such as how much he might play on defense or offense next fall and in what situations, he has no idea how that will work.

“I honestly have no idea how it’s going to work,” Mitchell said. “I don’t even try to think about it because that’s something the coaches are going to have to figure out. Whatever they come out with, that’s what I’m going to do.”

In the meantime, Mitchell made it clear he sees himself as a receiver first.

“None of my offensive goals are going to be slowed down by a couple of reps or a lot of reps on defense,” he said. “I still have a job as a receiver; I want a job as a DB, too.”

TB RICHARD SAMUEL

Speaking of possible position changes, tailback Richard Samuel said he’s not expecting one.

The rising fifth-year senior came to the rescue at running back from linebacker before last season. Now, through recruiting and continued development, the Bulldogs suddenly have tailbacks for next season. Highly-touted freshmen Keith Marshall and T.J. Gurley join a group that includes five players with starting experience — Samuel, Isaiah Crowell, Ken Malcome, Carlton Thomas and Brandon Harton.

Since the Bulldogs return only Zander Ogletree at fullback next season — they also add freshman signee Quayvon Hicks — it has been assumed the 6-foot-2, 235-pound Samuel may get some work there. That’s news to him.

“There’s not going to be a switch or anything,” said Samuel, who then added, he “wouldn’t mind” if it did.

“I’m not too worried about staying at one position” he said. “Knowing we have a solid rotation of backs, I’ll play wherever I can get on the field.”

Samuel also said there has been no discussion of a return to inside linebacker, where he spent a redshirt season two years ago. He does, however, hope to get work this season on special teams.

“I tried to get on special teams last year but the coaches wouldn’t let me because we had short numbers on backs,” he said. “But I’m real interested in playing special teams. Freshman and sophomore years I played special teams all the time. I really like it.”

TE ARTHUR LYNCH

To this point, Arthur Lynch has been known mainly as a big, strong tight end who can block with the best of them. But with the graduation of Aron White and Orson Charles’ decision to enter the NFL draft a year early, the Dartmouth, Mass., native finds himself atop the depth chart and ready to prove himself worthy of the all-star legacy Georgia has had at tight end.

“If anything it’s added more pressure on me more than it’s been a sigh of relief,” Lynch said. “It just adds more pressure to become the upperclassman leader. The truth is, it comes down to the fact that I’m the only one who has game experience out of the three tight ends we’ll have on scholarship this fall.”

Lynch will be joined this summer by Jay Rome, who’s currently playing basketball during his redshirt freshman year, and signee Ty Smith of Colquitt County. One or all of them will have to step up to fill the pass-catching shoes of Charles, who caught 45 passes for nearly 600 yards last season.

“I always have things to prove,” said Lynch, who said he is down to 257 pounds from more than 270 early last season. “I’ve talked to Orson and Aron and they seem to have the confidence in me to continue the success we’ve had at the tight end position. I feel like it’s an opportunity for me to make a statement that I’m more than a guy that can block. Obviously that’s my forte and gotten me to where I am today. But I’ve trimmed down a lot the last six or eight months, trying to get a little slimmer, a little faster.”

QB AARON MURRAY

Aaron Murray is back for his third season as the Bulldogs’ starting quarterback. And the redshirt junior said one of the best things about this season is not having to listen to all the “hot seat” talk regarding Georgia’s head coach.

“It’s one less thing to worry about,” said Murray, who met with reporters for a half-hour Thursday afternoon. “Last year, all the talk was, ‘ifyou don’t get to the SEC championship game, you don’t win 10 games, blah, blah, blah, Coach Richt’s gonna be fired.’ I know we don’t talk about it too much. Everybody on the team felt like, ‘hey, we don’t want Coach Richt to leave; we love Coach Richt; we love the rest of the coaches.

“It was stressful, I think not only for us but the coaches. So I think this year everybody’s a little bit more relaxed and feel like, ‘let’s just go out there and play.’ I don’t think anyone’s on the hot seat or worrying about that.”

Murray passed for nearly 3,200 yards with 35 TDs and 14 interceptions last season. But he was at the center of some catostrophic turnovers in losses to South Carolina, LSU and Michigan State.

Murray said he’s working hard to “improve on my footwork,” which he believes will improve his accuracy. “I wasn’t as assurate as I need to be.”

Even if Hutson Mason ends up redshirting as planned — a determination that won’t be made until sometime into the season — Murray is confident the Bulldogs will be fine at his position even if he were to go down with injury. Georgia will be looking to redshirt freshman Christian LeMay as primary backup. It also brought in signee Faton Bauta as an early enrollee and returns veteran walkons Parker Welch and Greg Bingham.

“We have plenty of guys,” he said.

FS BACARRI RAMBO

Bacarri Rambo thought long and hard about entering the draft after last year’s All-American season, in which he led the SEC with 8 interceptions. But he said he came back because, as a unit, Georgia’s defense believes it will be one of the best in the nation next season and can lead the Bulldogs to great things.

The Bulldogs return 10 starters on defense, counting defensive end Garrison Smith, who started the last three games for the injured DeAngelo Tyson. As a result, Rambo believes Georgia will be one of the most sophisticated defenses around.

“We can get deeper in the playbook because we’ve all got another year under our belts under Coach Grantham’s scheme,” he said. “I know he’s going to have fun with us now because we all know what we’re doing.”

Of course, Georgia was already going to have to replace Paul Hornung Award winner Brandon Boykin at one cornerback and now senior starter Sanders Commings is going to be suspended the first two games at the other corner position. Then DBs Nick Marshall and Chris Sanders were dismissed for team rules violations in January.

“We lost some great young players that had a lot of talent,” Rambo said. “But we have a lot of other good players, too, and we’re all just going to have to step up. The older guys have got to keep working with the younger guys and make sure they know how they’ve got to act and how they’ve got to play.”

Of course, Rambo was suspended for Georgia’s opening game last season before going on to an all-star year. He said he reminded Commings of that after a domestic violence arrest led to his punishment.

“He’s just got to live through it,” Rambo said. “I told him, ‘that’s a minor setback for a major comeback.’ I’ve been telling him to not let that get him down, to keep working hard and focusing on what’s ahead of him.”

Meanwhile, Rambo expects Branden Smith and Damian Swann to man the corners in Georgia’s base defense. And he believes that Mitchell guy can help, too.

“He looks real impressive as a corner,” Boykin said of the star wide receiver. “I feel like he’ll understand more about receivers than we do and that’ll probably help him.”

That’s all for now. More later. . . .

Read more here: http://www.ledger-enquirer.com/2012/03/01/1954206/murray-hot-seat-talk-was-stressful.html#storylink=cpy

112 comments Add your comment

GDawg

March 1st, 2012
6:17 pm

bhamdawg

March 1st, 2012
6:23 pm

JPG

March 1st, 2012
6:29 pm

Samuel absolutely needs to be moved to fullback. I can’t see the coaches wanting to hand him the ball over any of the returning tailbacks or incoming freshmen. Last year, when he carried the ball he just lowered his head and ran right into people, which is what you want out of a lead blocker. Make him an offensive linebacker who hits people and allows the guys who can scat do their thing!

Dawg Tired

March 1st, 2012
6:30 pm

Mitchell is big-time!We need more like him.

BigDawg

March 1st, 2012
6:39 pm

Excited about next year, GATA!!

D A DoubleU G

March 1st, 2012
6:40 pm

To think how close Mitchell was to signing with Bama, and his surprise announcement last winter.

So glad we have him. Be prepared for the “Champ” comparisons for hopefully the next 3 seasons.

Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

March 1st, 2012
6:45 pm

Doesn’t UGA still have the QB who transferred from Boise?? Move Samuel to FB & Mitchell to DB…we need help in the secondary

Augusta dawg

March 1st, 2012
6:46 pm

September can’t get here quick enough. Gonna be a special year. GATA

SEC Observer

March 1st, 2012
6:49 pm

@BigDawg, obviously it’s the off season when the Dawgs are always number 1 but then the season starts and reality sets in :)

SEC Observer

March 1st, 2012
6:51 pm

@Augusta dawg it’s still the same cast of charactors :)

Dawg Haus

March 1st, 2012
7:02 pm

Good words from some DGDs!

Dawg Haus

March 1st, 2012
7:07 pm

If there’s anyone to try to follow in Boykin’s footsteps, I’d say Mitchell is as good a candidate as anyone. He definitely has the motor, and the heart, to do it.

Brunker

March 1st, 2012
7:17 pm

Really looking forward to Mitchell, he’s the real deal.

Murray’s right about depth at QB. Can’t wait to see Lemay again, man, he looked so good last G-Day taking the team down for game winning drive. Lemay won National Junior of the year in High School, he truly is an elite guy. Mason did a fine job in his few looks in 2011.

Tight end isn’t used at UGA, so Artie can hang it up.

Close...

March 1st, 2012
7:23 pm

@SEC Observer – the real difference this year is that the schedule got EVEN EASIER.

bamadawg

March 1st, 2012
7:25 pm

Thanks Chip, A little good news goes along way. Also, if we end up with 9 sec games per year I still want to play GT every year. That leaves 2 non conference games. Maybe that should be mandated in the SEC. Ten FBS games and 2 lesser. What do ya’ll think!!

FL Dawg

March 1st, 2012
7:26 pm

Is Richard Samuel a DGD or what? Gotta love that attitude.

Bobo, Bobo, a Pirate's life for me

March 1st, 2012
7:28 pm

poor Richard, i hope he gets an offer from an NFL team, the kid is such a team player, and truely skilled just hasn’t had enough time at any one position…

Old Dawg

March 1st, 2012
7:29 pm

Samuel would be a great fullback. Not just for blocking but also for catching the fullback screen UGA ran a few years back. Once he gets into the open field his speed takes over.

Bobo, Bobo, a Pirate's life for me

March 1st, 2012
7:29 pm

Van Nuys Place

March 1st, 2012
7:31 pm

Could you also update us on whether any of these goons have passed a single legitimate college course (not that there are many of those at UGA).

bitter dawgs fan

March 1st, 2012
7:38 pm

@TROLLS-AKA-TREE KILLERS-AKA-TUSK-A-LOOSERS, Mithchel is a gifted player who could play every down, including punting and kicking duties. I would like to see him replace TURNOVER MURRY

AT QB and throw to himself, he runs fast enough. he is better than “golden bagger” AKA–HONEY

——————MITCHELL IS THE ——————–REAL DEAL———–

Jaws

March 1st, 2012
7:39 pm

Nice to see Lynch get an opportunity. Watching him in the spring game and when he went in this yr, he was the best TE blocker they had. He reallynshouldnhave been used much more. The kid has great hands too, but was overshadowed by OC.

Taco Meat

March 1st, 2012
7:39 pm

LOL Van Nuys! U mad son?

DWdawg

March 1st, 2012
7:40 pm

I wish they all had Samuel’s attitude

A person SMART enough to know......

March 1st, 2012
7:41 pm

took 23 posts to call out the Miss spelling or 35:55minute MURRAY’s miss use of a word.

Brunker

March 1st, 2012
7:47 pm

The defense should set some records this year. Seen the schedule? Only one ranked team to be found, South Carolina. If Grantham can’t finish #1 with this schedule, he never will. Rambo could pout up even better numbers than last year, true, teams will avoid his side of the field, but if Jarvis & Smith & Ogletree can get some pressure on the QB, and they surely will, expect Rambo to get 12-15 pick opportunities.

A bunch of guys could go pro after this year, and rake in the big $$$$.

But the catch is, they gotta do more than get blown out 42-10 in the Sec Champ, need to win that one, and win the Natl one too.

Nub

March 1st, 2012
7:51 pm

Any report on where the o line has been? Or fullback … Or throwing the ball to Orson Charles more than once per game…. How bout being so thin at TB that you have to move RS back to TB… Maybe they have been hanging with Bruce Figgins …If you are going to line him up at FB for Pete sack throw him the ball a time or two… The offensive coaches at UGA have been out to lunch since Richt handed the reins over to Bobo… Maybe further back than that … cause Richt had his greatest success with Donnan’s recruits…

Dawg_Mike

March 1st, 2012
7:51 pm

I am hearing that Crowell is very impressive in his studies as well as his workouts.
He must have saw the handwriting on the old wall, so to speak.
Thats good- show us.

Fred Flintstone

March 1st, 2012
7:58 pm

Only 184 days till kick-off. Yabba,Dabba,Do.

Champion Dawg

March 1st, 2012
8:08 pm

This Fall, Dawgs have Number 1 Defense. Coach Grantham just hold top offenses under 18 points. Of course we want goose eggs. Coach Bobo our Offense should Offend people. Goal Hang half a hundred on the enemy. Aaron Murray execute the offense. Make sure your Offensive team mates execute and come off the ball and block someone. Turnovers should and will come down. Cut int.s, do not run Aaron, throw it away. Let your line block, backs tote it, receivers catch and yac it. You run the show. Get the dang ball to the intended target. Keep possession. Stay on the field. Execute. Special teams be Special please. Coach Richt, you are my Coach. Follow your own slogan, “FINISH THE DAWG GONE DRILL BABY!!!”

A person SMART enough to know......

March 1st, 2012
8:33 pm

Champion Daws got cheer for the Women’s Swimming & Diving Team, women’s Equestrian team, or the GYM dawgs and you can be a champion dwag.

Verne Lundquist

March 1st, 2012
8:45 pm

I’m gonna go out on a limb here, maybe not, but the Georgia defense will pitch AT LEAST 4 shutouts in 2012. The defense is going to be dominant. TEN returning starters from a defense that finished top 5 in the country? Gonna be great.

Verne Lundquist

March 1st, 2012
8:47 pm

And Damian Swann will prove to be a true shutdown corner. We won’t miss Commings against Mizzou. Smith and Swann will do very well. Mizzou doesn’t have the O-line to deal with Jarvis Jones and John Jenkins/Kwame Geathers. They just can’t do it.

Verne Lundquist

March 1st, 2012
8:51 pm

Don’t get me wrong, Mizzou is a good team, just not good enough for 4 quarters to compete with an SEC team like UGA. Mizzou has a few stars like James Franklin at QB but he won’t be able to escape the pressure from our defense.

Paddy

March 1st, 2012
8:53 pm

Old Dawg….I too would like to see RS at fullback. I hear about this tremendous speed he has. I have yet to see that breakaway speed that everyone says he has. Sometime in 4 years it must be shown to us in a game. Practice does not count. RS is a DGD!

WestOfAthens

March 1st, 2012
9:03 pm

Thanks for all you do Chip
HBTD

Herschel Talker

March 1st, 2012
9:05 pm

I asked this question once and never really got a good answer. Can anyone answer why Richt will have 5 scholarships allocated to QBs out of 85 possible assuming Brice Ramsey signs next year (and assuming Murray returns for his senior year – we’d have Murray, Mason, Lemay, Bauta, and Ramsey)? That seems like a high percentage of scholarships to QBs considering it doesn’t look like anyone but Murray will see playing time anytime soon and considering how deficient we are in other positions like OL.

Any thoughts here would be appreciated.

HT

A person SMART enough to know......

March 1st, 2012
9:11 pm

What is the UGa v Kentucky score?

Mobile Dawg

March 1st, 2012
9:28 pm

I see two possibilities on the QB situation. One, Richt is not very good at roster management, two, he figured to lose at least one QB due to his stubborn position as AM being the only one getting playing time.

Techster

March 1st, 2012
9:29 pm

Dogs are getting beat and dogs will be beat, bad.

Now I know that the dogs have been known to commit crimes, but getting hauled off to jail for stealing hash browns…that beats everything.

drbasic

March 1st, 2012
9:58 pm

it is 19 to 37 at half….can’t hit the broad side of a barn!!

bsg3003

March 1st, 2012
9:59 pm

Don’t know why eeryone ismaking a big deal outta the hash brown thing. I thought it was funny. It was probably a bet or something.

drbasic

March 1st, 2012
10:02 pm

have not been in college in years; but, are the hashbrowns like a big square tator-tot thing…..or they more like maybe waffle house…scattered smothered covered topped and chunked…..just asking

flo-ri-duh

March 1st, 2012
10:17 pm

It’s really sad that such a fuss was made over hash browns and the girl’s name should never have been made public. How embarrassing. Maybe she can’t afford the food. Is that funny or sad?

Castle Pines Canine

March 1st, 2012
10:41 pm

Smart enough to know, doesn’t know anything about quarter back.

funny...

March 1st, 2012
10:42 pm

Yeah, describing Murray’s accuracy as assuracy is about right.

Don’t know if he’s the one responsible for the LSU loss though. He didn’t kick to Mathieu and he didn’t drop 2 TD passes.

Chris

March 1st, 2012
10:51 pm

are we forgetting how good samuel was the three games leading up to his injury???? Keep the man at running back

Buzz 2011

March 1st, 2012
11:22 pm

Clarke County jail in Athens has placed orders for cases of hash browns… The word is that hash browns will be served every meal for Dawg inmates…….Go Dawgs and easy on the salt!!!

Buzz 2011

March 1st, 2012
11:24 pm

Why didn’t Fox take the first string team to play in Lexington. The Dawgs will win it all in the SEC…Best since Hugh Durham..

Buzz 2012

March 1st, 2012
11:29 pm

CPJ will totally dominate Georgia again this year, just like he did in 2008! If there’s one thing you can count on, it’s Tech whipping up on Georgia.