That didn’t work out during his true freshman season and he was moved to wide receiver and tailback as a redshirt freshman last season.
He simply wasn’t happy at all with the move and it showed as he played in just four games.
But redshirt sophomore Mitchell (6-2, 207, 4.4), who goes by the nickname Duwop and grew up in Egg Harbur, N.J., has grown up a lot in the last nine months and now is all in with the move and with his life.
“I had a son born on December 7th and needed away to provide for not only myself, but a new life,” Mitchell said. “It is kind of crazy how you have things happen in your life at a point in time and the light goes on, a switch flips in your head and I finally see this (wide receiver) as a way to provide but also an outlet to showcase my talents on game day when it happens.
“I have a whole of guys who are supporting me and backing me and I feel proud to go to work with every day, day in and day out. I now know that I have to hold myself accountable to be the best me I can be for my teammates and my son back home.
“I am not trying to be the best man I can be, the best player I can be. I am just telling myself, let my day today be better than my yesterday.”
Arkansas head coach Bret Bielema has certainly noticed the transformation of Mitchell, who did not have a catch last season, but did have six carries for 68 yards while lining up at tailback and as wildcat quarterback.
Just finished watching Arkansas practice. Coaches say Damon "Duwop" Mitchell has had a good camp at WR. pic.twitter.com/NxBvydEoLy— Bo Mattingly (@SportsTalkwBo) August 8, 2015
“What’s really neat is he’s just a totally different engaging personality," Bielema said. “Kids talk highly of him all the time now. He was kind of maybe a guy at the edge of the bench in years past.
“Now it’s ‘who’s had a great summer?’ ‘Duwop.’ Different positions. Opposite sides of the ball. He’s my Advocare rep. He’s really an engaging guy.
“If you want a good story get him going on his Advocare sales. He even solicited me, so I get all my goods through him. Again, just another, he gets a $350 check every two weeks because he’s built up his little pyramid. Hope that’s legal by NCAA rules. The thing that, it’s just he’s been a reborn kid since last January.”
Razorback wide receiver coach Michael Smith, nearly teared up with talking emotionally about the new Mitchell.
“He embraced what we were trying to preach to him,” Smith said. “You come in here and you go through a position change, you are a freshman that is highly touted and you get thrown to the bottom of the depth chart at quarterback is tough.
“…You come over to the receiver position and you want to play right away, but there were guys that were playing and understand how to play the position.
“I take my hat off to Damon. He has totally bought in to what we are doing, got in the playbook, learned the offense and he is starting to see the rewards of what we have been preaching.
“I am very happy with him because when young men go out and do what you ask them to do and they get to see it, that is the part of coaching that I enjoy. Damon is one of those guys that has the chance to do something special here.”
Mitchell is really excited to be part of an offense that has seemingly now has weapons at every position.
“I kind of get chills when I think about what is to come this season,” Mitchell said. “That’s because not only do I see the things happening on the field because of our chemistry with BA, Austin, Rafe and Ty and the wide receivers group in combination with the running backs and O-line, but there is a bigger thing off the field.
“We are all in the cold tubs together, we are upstairs eating together. It’s the smiles, the laughs, the joys, how close everybody has become.
“I am sitting here and realizing, man, we can be really, really good. Nobody really knows how good we are going to be, but the ones of us that are out their the field putting it on the line in practice right now.
“I’m telling you they said we (the Razorbacks) kind of turned it on at the end of last season, but that was just a glimpse, just a little bit of what we are about to become. We are about to take this offense and go.”
“I just can’t do anything, but continue to pray for him,” Damon Mitchell said. “We come from a hard background and to have my mom (April Bell) sit at my signing day and now to have him soon be an early enrollee at the school of his choice is just so rewarding.
“To have the attention of colleges and to have his academics high enough to enroll at mid-term just makes me so very proud of him.” Damon’s family has not gotten to see him play but a couple of games so far in his college career, but are schedule to see a few this season.
“My mom and stepdad and my brother are going to be able to come to a few games this year because things have kind of turned around at home in Atlantic City, New Jersey.
“My mom is just so happy that both of her sons are in college and have made it to where we are know. It’s a blessing and she is happy we have made it this far without seeing a jail cell or the that she had to put one of us in the ground.”
Mitchell pointed to a recent edition of a newspaper that services his area.
“I will never forget how she cried one day about an article back home my senior year of high school and there was a picture of my and my brother,” Mitchell said. “On the back side of the paper were two brothers who were being convicted of murder.
“That really drives the point home and was really touching.”
Like any wide receiver, Mitchell would love to have a bunch of catches this season, but finds himself more team-oriented in terms of goals.
“I was part of the first senior class at my high school and I kind of know that with team success comes individual accolades,” Mitchell said. “So as long as we are having fun, we are enjoying it together, making plays and making highlights and creating a bond on the field while we are doing it is what I want.”