ATHENS, Ga. - It was in the best seller section of a Barnes & Noble in this college town that Kathy Rackley found a novel story of her own - a young man by the name of Malcolm Mitchell.

“I mean a chance encounter in a bookstore, how wonderful is that?” said Kathy. She had no idea who Mitchell was. “None whatsoever.”

And Malcolm didn’t tell her. “I knew they were going to find out,” Mitchell said. “But I wasn’t going to say it.”

Fact is, Rackley may have been the only one in Athens who didn’t know the name Malcolm Mitchell. Number 26 for the University of Georgia Bulldogs was one of the top recruits in the country a few years ago. He’s Georgia royalty.

And presumably, if Rackley had known that, she wouldn’t have stood in that Barnes & Noble talking his ear off about the book club she had just joined.

“I mean he like stepped back and he said ‘You did? You did?’ and he said, 'Can I join your book club?’” Rackley recalled.

“And I said, 'I don’t know if you want to join mine. We’re all 40-, 50-, and 60-year-old women.’”

But Mitchell was undeterred. So now, one of the top wide-receivers in the country has been meeting monthly with his book club lady friends.

He’s the only man, and the youngest by a generation – but Mitchell doesn’t care. Nor does he care what anyone thinks.

“Somebody called me a nerd. That’s not a word that I’m used to hearing,” he said. But he’s more than okay with the label. “I was proud of it… It’s like a badge of honor to me, knowing where I came from.”

Mitchell confessed that when he started college he could only read at about a junior high level, and it bothered him. So he started putting as much effort into his reading game as his football game.

Every free moment, he had a book in his hand. He’s now reading things he never dreamed he could, and although some of the book club selections he would never pick himself, Mitchell seems to enjoy them all.

After everything he’s accomplished, what’s he most proud of?

“I finished the 'Hunger Games’ series in about two days,” Mitchell said.

Wait, but what about the touchdowns?

“That came natural,” Mitchell said. “That’s a gift. I had to work to read.”

But his greatest talent may lie in his ability to step so outside his comfort zone, to be able to meet people and focus so sincerely on what they have in common, instead of their trivial differences.

Sometimes football makes men great. And sometimes, great men just happen to play football.

Giveaway and Satellite Crowd Funder!

Giveaway/raffle, WIN a FREE telescope! We will select one winner and give away a Celestron 21035 70mm Travel Scope: And help support our effort launch a satellite!

To enter the UGA Small Satellite Research Lab’s giveaway all you have to do is:

  • Reblog this post (so we can get your name)
  • Liking the post will enter you a second time!
  • Following the small sat lab on tumblr will enter you a third time!
  • Following the small sat lab on twitter will enter your a fourth time (just tweet your us tumblr user name at us and tell us how cool you think space exploration is)!

Help Our Crowdfunded to build a spacecraft! Help us build a spacecraft!

We’re Crowdfunding a satellite! Donate at!

We’ll be sending a Satellite to the international Space Station in 2018! We just need help building the ground station!

The Donation Rewards:

If you have donated larger amount you will also get all the benefits of the lesser amounts! Be sure when you visit that you include your information so that we can get in contact with you!

  • $5 - You will entered in the telescope raffle 2 more times and will receive a signed thank you card in the mail from the lab!
  • $10 - You will receive a signed certificate of space exploration from the UGA Small Satellite Research Laboratory
  • $25 - You will receive a mission patch of your choosing (our NASA patch has yet to be designed but the MOCI patch is below)
  • $50 - You will receive both mission patches!
  • $100 - We will give you a UGA Small Satellite Laboratory tee-shirt! Special made for supporters of our campaign!
  • $250 - We will tweet at you from space! once a month! (or you can control the message that you send!)
  • $500 - You will receive a plaque commemorating your participation in the development of our spacecraft!
  • $1000 - We will engrave your name on the side of our satellite!
  • Remember, you get ALL of the benefits of lower donations if you donate a higher one!

Please Help Us Out! We are partnered with NASA and will be sending a satellite to the International Space Station in 2018, but we do not have the money to build a ground station yet!

We have 2 3U cube satellites! The image below is the patch for our Mapping and Ocean Color Imager (MOCI). We are also building the SPectroscopic Observatory of Coastal regions (SPOC), is this is the satellite that will be launched to the International Space Station!

Donate At:!

The Crowdfunded and raffle end on July 31, 2016, after that it will take us 20-30 days to send out all the rewards! Donate at! Feel free to message us or ask us any space questions you may have!

Donate At:!

One of the renderings of our satellite: