Apparently Tevin Mitchel didn't come here to paint either.
Arkansas' highly-celebrated freshman cornerback continued to get second-team work in both Monday practices and appears poised to play this season.
"We have no clue on where he is going to redshirt and who is going to play," Mitchel said. "I haven't heard anything about it. Camp is still going on and we continue to work hard, but I don't want to be that player that redshirts. I am going to come out here and bust my butt every day and do what I have to do to play."
Mitchel (6-1, 176), who was a standout for Mansfield (Texas) Legacy and chose the Razorbacks over Nebraska, Oklahoma, Texas A&M and Notre Dame, plays with a confidence that belies his age.
"I think I have been doing pretty good," Mitchel said. "I know I have been doing pretty good. I am being confident and I am going to stay confident and continue to work hard."
Mitchel, who flipped to Arkansas in December from an earlier commitment to Nebraska, has certainly impressed his coaches and fellow cornerback Darius Winston.
"Tevin has come in and worked pretty hard," Winston said. "I'd say he is one of the best freshmen I have ever seen. He came in pretty ready. He's got a lot of things to work on, but he is real good."
That echoes the sentiment of what Arkansas defensive coordinator Willy Robinson said on Saturday after Mitchel played well in Thursday's scrimmage.
"You guys can see the flash of that kid," Robinson said. "He is exactly what we are looking for. I think that scrimmaged showed he has great courage. He is slim, but he plays big. He is extremely talented and has a great future for us. And who knows when that future might be? It might be after this next scrimmage. It might be right after the next day to see how he rolls. That is the kind of football player we are looking for."
Mitchel, the son of Arkansas native and former Oklahoma Sooner Eric Mitchel, was asked if camp was what he thought it was going to be.
"No, sir," Mitchel said. "The tempo is a lot faster than high school. In high school you can pretty much do whatever you want and use your athletic ability to get by. On this level, it is a little bit different."
Both Winston and Isaac Madison – the two starting corners – are trying to help the U.S. Army All American along.
"I am getting help from the older guys, they are really helping me out in the film room and getting better out here," Mitchell said. "I am improving day-by-day."
"Those two guys have real good technique," Mitchel said. "That is what they are helping me on right now. Every time I think I do something bad, I go up to them and ask them, especially Darius and Isaac because they know what they are doing."
Mitchel has shined in coverage in camp, but knows that it is all about being able to run.
"My technique is the main thing I am focusing on right now," Mitchel said. "That is one of the main things that I have to improve on."
He certainly gets a crash course each day while going against Arkansas' bevy of talented receivers.
"To me, we have the best receivers in the SEC," Mitchel said. "Going against Greg Childs and Cobi Hamilton, J(arius)-Wright and Joe Adams is going to make me a better athlete and a better corner."
Knowing that he is not as big and strong as those wideouts, Mitchel takes a different philosophy than he might down the line.
"I do a lot of trying to weave them, get away from them because they are bigger guys, and get to the ball," Mitchel said.
He reported to Arkansas this summer and weighed less than 170 pounds on June 8th.
"I am working on my weight right now," Mitchel said. "I am trying to get to about 185. I came in at 169 and now I am 176…I eat a lot. I get two plates whenever we eat lunch and dinner. I drink a lot of water."
Mitchel got some advice from his dad before he came to Arkansas.
"He's been in this situation, he was at Oklahoma and he tells me it is going to be hard - especially in camp," Mitchel said, "but just go out there and do what you have to do. Play smart, play hard and just run around and make plays.
"To be honest, it has been kind of tough, but it is part of growing up and becoming a man," Mitchel added. "My parents have helped me become a man and mature."
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