2015 Intro: Keith Mixon

The junior class at Shades Valley High school in the Birmingham area is one of the better groups in the state and the top offensive player from the junior class there is the versatile Keith Mixon.

"Running back, wide receiver, kick returner...everything."

This is how Keith Mixon described his position when Scout asked it of him earlier this week after taking in a practice in which he played each well.

The Irondale (Ala.) Shades Valley 5-foot-8, 169-pounder, who is armed with an elite jump-cut and good top-end speed, seems too small to take on a load as a running back but his production as a true sophomore with the ball in his hands is tough to ignore. He amassed over 1,400 yards in 2012 as a runner and pass-catcher and the Mountie coaching staff says they're more open to more touches for their dynamic secret.

"I've been playing so long, I practice on the weekends with my dad and my little brother to teach him," he said. "I also meet with my quarterback on the weekends when I'm not at football. We do a couple of drills, I work on everything."

So what position does he envision himself at on the next level?

"I can see myself as a slot receiver in the backfield and other areas to get me on the edge," said Mixon. "Colleges may want me at slot receiver."

Not hard to piece together, Mixon's football idol also faced size questions en route to becoming a top NFL Draft pick.

"Tavon Austin," he said. "Ever since he got to West Virginia, I watch his highlights and try to pattern my game after him. I like Reggie Bush, too, even though he plays out of the backfield."

Though versatile and as agile as it gets, the junior has some clear goals to work on going forward.

"My vision, I have got to get stronger to be able to hit," he said. "I still need to practice my route-running to be more crisp. I need to work at it every day to get my timing right."

Some colleges are taking notice of the under-the-radar standout though not one has pulled the trigger with an offer just yet.

"Middle Tennessee, UAB, Southern Miss, Tulane," said Mixon of schools in contact with him. "They said I should be getting some offers this coming season.

"I like Texas A&M, I like the spread and they're style of play. I like the SEC and Auburn runs the spread, too."

It's safe to say that Mixon, who envisions himself near 180 pounds by this time next season, will have more eyes on him with plenty of coaches and scouts keeping tabs on Shades Valley junior five-star Daron Payne. The defensive tackle was tabbed as the number one player in the state for the class of 2015.

"I have a chip on my shoulder, we have hype with Daron so I know people will be at our games. I'll be ready," he added.

Inside The AU Tigers Top Stories