Jakell Mitchell Excited For The Future

Opelika High School tight end and Auburn commitment Jakell Mitchell gives an update on his injured right knee and shows excitement toward his future in an Auburn uniform.

Opelika, Ala. – Auburn commitment Jakell Mitchell is looking forward to his future as an Auburn Tiger and hoping to make an immediate impact as a freshman following a senior football season at Opelika High School in which he's watched from the sidelines with a torn ACL.

"I plan on stepping on the field as soon as I get there," Mitchell said of the 2014 season at Auburn. "I don't want to waste any time. I missed the whole year here. I don't want to sit out any more games. I plan on playing as soon as I get there."

Mitchell, at 6-3 and 220, is a versatile player at who caught 26 passes for 365 yards as a junior while also rushing for 14 scores. However, his torn ACL in late June has prevented him from taking a snap as a senior at Opelika.

"It's been hard just sitting back watching my team play," Mitchell said. "I've been trying to find a different way to lead them. I can't lead them on the field like I want to. I just try to help them any way I can."

Teammate Stephen Roberts, a commitment to Alabama, noted that Mitchell hasn't thrown in the towel on his teammates despite the injury.

"Right now he's just being a team leader," Roberts said of his fellow senior and close friend. "He should be coming back pretty soon. He's been helping us out with some of the routes and stuff, and just being a leader as well."

Mitchell has been rehabilitating for months and is making progress.

"I'm feeling good," Mitchell said of his right knee. "I'm probably about 70 or 75 percent now on my knee. I actually did a test on Thursday on my knee which told me that. I'm probably about 30 percent shy of where I should be.

"I'm running straight ahead and doing a little side-to-side movement, cutting," he added. "I'm doing as much as my doctor will let me do."

Mitchell is also working on recruiting Roberts. The two have been to most of the Auburn home games together.

"I have been trying to sway him a different way," Mitchell noted. "I just think it will be great thing if the two of us go to a school and play together and create something better there, I think that would be good.

"We've been to just about every home game except last week (Florida Atlantic)," Mitchell continued. "We've been to every other home game. He knows I'm not going to move my commitment, but I think he is."

Mitchell is a versatile athlete who will fit in well with Auburn's power-running shotgun offense.

Mitchell committed to Auburn on May 25, 2013. At the time Auburn was still coming off a 3-9 season and transitioning into the Gus Malzahn Era, which has been a pleasant surprise for those associated with the Auburn program. The Tigers are 8-1 heading into Knoxville on Saturday with their only loss early in the year at LSU.

"It has been very fun to watch," Mitchell said. "They're making a lot of progress with Gus and his offense. It's pretty exciting."

Malzahn was at Auburn as coordinator from 2009-2011 and the offense set several school records. He was head coach at Arkansas State in 2012, and meanwhile, the Tiger offense was disastrous as Auburn went 0-8 in conference play.

During his tenure at Auburn Malzahn and current offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee have found ways to get their tight ends and H-backs involved in the offense whether it's players like Philip Lutzenkirchen, Brandon Fulse or C.J. Uzomah. Those players have been used in a variety of ways and that is something that excites Mitchell.

"That position is what I do in high school actually," Mitchell explained. "I don't want to say this, but it's very easy to me. I think I'll be a lot more flexible in that position with catching the ball, slipping out into the flats, different types of matchups with linebackers and that sort of thing. I think I bring a lot to the table with that sort of thing."

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