ATHENS, Ga. -- The first day of fall camp got off to a rocky start for the Georgia Bulldogs when the team announced that wide receiver Malcolm Mitchell had injured his right knee. There is no timetable yet for his return but the staff expects Mitchell to make a full recovery from the arthroscopic surgery he had on Thursday. The procedure was done to address a cartilage injury according to UGA Sr. Associate Athletic Director and Director of Sports Medicine Ron Courson.
Georgia quarterback Hutson Mason said the injury happened on Monday evening when he and Mitchell were working together on slant routes. On the last repetition, Mitchell hurt his knee on the fifth step as he planet his foot to change directions. According to Mason, Mitchell knew something was wrong but he almost decided to continue working despite the pain.
Mitchell's return was highly anticipated after he tore his ACL in the season-opening game versus Clemson last season. His newest injury could have easily dampened the mood of the program for the first day of practice, but remember, this team has been through this sort of scenario quite often.
There was a lot of other news and notes. Here are some of the highlights from the press conference help prior to practice.
Outside linebacker Jordan Jenkins on dropping 20 pounds:
"I cut down on a couple carbs, got a little bit skinnier and am feeling pretty good. I feel like I was moving around a lot better in some of the drills. My footwork has gotten a helluva lot better that it was before. I'm glad to be quick again. Everybody is strong; we got that part of the game down. We just needed more endurance to be able to pursue for a lot longer, to be able to run after the ball and do that for more consecutive plays."
Jenkins on freshman Nick Chubb:
"I was watching Nick Chubb run some of the routes in the 7-on-7, watching him go up the sideline, and I definitely want to see what he can do with some pads on. If he gets his steam going it looks like he can run a couple of us over."
Damian Swann on how Jeremy Pruitt will differ from Scott Lakatos in coaching the secondary:
"Pruitt is a coordinator so he is making a lot of the decisions when it comes to game planning and game calling. Lakatos was a position coach and a lot of his calls came from a different authority. With Pruitt being the coordinator, we will get a lot of the coaching up front."
Chris Conley on the team unity council banning the freshmen from social media:
"It was (our idea). Just thinking about some of the problems that we had last year, things we could have avoided, and we said, 'You know what? People should be focused on football when they come into college, not about how many followers they get, how many times they can post something or how many comments or like it.' So we decided to go forward with that. It has been good so far. The guys have accepted it and I think it has helped them on the field. It lets them focus more."
Conley on the difference between Aaron Murray and Hutson Mason:
"Hutson is right over there (laughing). Hutson commands a different type of leadership. Aaron has that leadership of a guy who has been here for four or five years. He's done it all. Hudson has been here and he has had to sit and watch a lot. So that commands a different type of leadership. He has patience. He has experience. He knows what Georgia is all about and people respect that. He loves Georgia. There's no reason he would have stayed if he didn't. On the field…I think Mason has a little more touch on the ball." Hutson throws a touch ball; Aaron likes to zip it on a line. There's a little more anticipation on the throw with Hutson."
Conley on junior college cornerback transfer Shattle Fenteng:
"I like Shattle. He is a big guy but he can run extremely well. Typically large corners can't do that. He's about my height and may weigh a little bit less. But he's my size, at corner, and that is something you don't see every day. I think if he focuses on his game and the way Georgia does things, he will make some plays for us this year."
Hutson Mason on summer pass skeleton drills:
"A lot of times over the years I have been here pass skel starts out with guys that are energized and they are showing up. But by the end of the summer it kind of gets lackadaisical and guys you are expecting to be there really don't show up and it kind of gets undisciplined. This by far was the best year among guys showing up. I think that was because guys that usually don't get reps were getting reps so they were motivated to show up."
Mason on other changes he has seen:
"We want this to be a player-led team, not a coaches-led team. Because that is how championship teams win; they are motivated by the leaders on the team and not the coaches….I think what we did with the Navy Seals was absolutely awesome. It helped me step out of my shell even more. It also helped Amarlo [Herrera] and Ramik [Wilson], guys who really aren't that vocal as leaders, it helped them step out…. It is awesome, like I was telling Coach Richt the other day, to see where our team has come with leadership and dependability."
Mason on Mitchell's state of mind after the injury:
"I went to see him in the hotel last night….He is definitely frustrated. A couple of guys went in there and prayed for him. I think this is his fourth injury. I tried to just go in there and encourage him. He was pretty upbeat in saying he knows he is going to be back. But he made a good point, he (said), 'I'm not doing anything different than I have over the first two years' and the first two years he was pretty healthy."
Mason on talking to which former Georgia quarterbacks he talks to:
"D.J. Shockley texted me last night. I probably talk to Shock the most and probably Buck Belue the most. I talked to [David] Greene a good bit, those besides Aaron. I have a good relationship with Joe Cox, although I don't talk to Joe as much, but a lot of us stay in contact….With Joe Cox, we generally talk about hunting and fishing and other things…with Shockley a little bit more. He is still plugged into the program since he still does TV and radio…. Over the years he has definitely helped me."
Leonard Floyd on being in being faster:
"I am in the best shape of my life, really.. I feel like I am back in high school, I am fast like I was in high school."
Mark Richt on Malcolm Mitchell status:
"First of all, we won't make any guesstimate on when he'll play. He's going to play when he's healthy and ready to go. It was a scope. It was a cartilage issue so we'll just see how quickly he can come back. It's really hard to say for sure when he'll be back and we don't want to try do that."
Richt on tight end Jay Rome's status:
"Rome's toe is still a little tender. My guess is there will be some modification to what he does as far as will he get every snap of every single practice that he'd normally would get. I don't know."
Richt on wide receiver Justin Scott-Wesley's recovery from a torn ACL:
"He'll practice. I'm not sure when he'll be able to play a game of football for us. We think it will be this season. He's moving along but maybe not as quick as some of the others."
Richt on new defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt:
"He doesn't have time for a guy who's not serious about learning. He's going to get on the guy and that guy will move back on the depth chart. He's basically following through with what he said in his first meeting in that he's not going to give them what they want, he's going to give them what they earn."
Dave McMahon contributed to this report.