Malcolm Mitchell to get a shot at cornerback

With Georgia heading into spring practice relatively thin at cornerback, coach Mark Richt said he's planning to have one of his top offensive weapons provide some help at the position.

Richt said Thursday that he will have rising sophomore receiver Malcolm Mitchell, who was Georgia's top receiving target in 2011, work at corner this spring.

"Quite frankly, we're going to experiment with that a little bit and see how much he can handle learning some cornerback," Richt said.

The move comes after Georgia's football team dealt with dismissals and transfers at the position and signed just one corner in its 2012 class. This month, Richt announced a two-game suspension for starting cornerback Sanders Commings, who was arrested Jan. 21 and charged with simple battery and domestic violence after an early morning incident with a girlfriend in downtown Athens.

With Commings out to begin the season, Richt wants to make sure he's using every available body he can at the corner spot. It probably won't be much of a concern for the season opener against Buffalo, but the Bulldogs will need to be very comfortable in the secondary against Missouri's passing game in Week 2.

Mitchell, who was fourth in the SEC in receiving with 45 catches for 665 yards and four touchdowns last fall, was recruited as both a wide receiver and a cornerback in high school, so this isn't exactly new territory for him.

Richt added that incoming freshman linebacker Josh Harvey-Clemons won't work at safety, but could see time on offense as a receiving option in the red zone.

Richt also said that outside linebacker Ray Drew and running back Richard Samuel could also change positions. Drew, a rising sophomore, could switch to defensive end, but with the Todd Grantham's 3-4 defense, he would still stand up at times if he does make the move. Samuel, who moved back to running back from linebacker last fall, could be moving to fullback, Richt said.

Nothing is concrete, but Richt said he wants to take full advantage of the athletes he has on the field if it will make his team better.

"We have got to make sure that we tap the entire talent base of our football team and get the best players out there in whatever situations that we need them in," he said. "If that means a guy playing both ways or playing two positions on defense or whatever it might be ... I don't care what it is, whatever we gotta do to get the best players on the field, we've got to do that."