Talented Athlete Mitchell Enjoying His Spring

Opelika High standout athlete Jakell Mitchell discusses his spring on the track, getting ready for football, recruiting and more.

Opelika, Ala.—One of the top in-state athletes in the 2014 recruiting class, talented tight end/H-Back Jakell Mitchell, will get a late start to his spring football this year because he's participating in the state track meet as part of Opelika High's team.

That wasn't planned, however, as Mitchell did the long jump last season for the Bulldogs, but was focused on spring football and improving on the field for Coach Brian Blackmon. All that changed recently when he went to the track to mess around with the team and hopped up on the long jump ramp. Breaking off a jump of nearly 23 feet, he quickly became a part of the track team once again.

Last week at the sectional meet Mitchell jumped 21 feet, 9 1/2 inches to qualify seventh in the state in Class 6A. Not bad for guy who hasn't trained for track and is much bigger than many of his competitors. At 6-3 and nearly 210 pounds he says it's a fun thing for him, but he's ready to get back on the field with his football teammates.

"It wasn't planned at all," Mitchell tells Inside The Auburn Tigers. "The coach just wanted me to come out. He had been asking me all year, but I wanted to focus on football. I did it one day and jumped 22 feet and it just took off from there."

Even though he's not taking part in spring practice yet because of track season, Mitchell was in the middle of the action on the first day for the Bulldogs as he was talking to young players and making sure they knew what to do on the field. That is something that he believes is the job of the team leaders like himself, Stephen Roberts and Malcolm Buggs this season.

"It's real important to me," he says. "I always wanted to be in this position one day. Now I have that chance. I just have to take advantage of it."

Jakell Mitchell

A frequent visitor to Auburn since getting an early offer from the Tigers, Mitchell had the chance to see the Tigers on the field under the direction of Gus Malzahn and enjoyed what he saw. Watching the offensive tempo and the use of players such as Brandon Fulse and C.J. Uzomah, Mitchell notes it gave him a good feel for the Tigers.

"I was really impressed by the pace of the game," Mitchell says. "They are featuring their tight ends running routes. The fans were incredible. They had the biggest turnout in college football. That's pretty impressive. It tells me they believe in what Mr. Malzahn is doing and the program he's bringing to Auburn."

A three-star prospect with offers from Duke, Florida, Florida State, Kentucky, LSU, Mississippi State and Tulane in addition to Auburn, Mitchell says he's just taking his time with things to make sure that when the time is right he makes the perfect decision.

"It's pretty exciting getting all this attention, but at the same time I'm kind of ready for it to be over," he says. "When that day comes and I get ready to make that decision I'll do it. It's still too wide open at the moment. I want to keep all my options open because I never know who I'm going to need at the end. I just want to keep all my options open until that day comes."

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