Mitchell Working to Get Back on the Field

Auburn linebacker Javiie Mitchell is looking to get healthy for his sophomore season.

Auburn, Ala.--After showing progress in his adjustment to playing linebacker at the college level, the focus for Auburn's Javiie Mitchell is getting healthy again after missing the BCS Championship Football Game with an injury.

A two-time All-State defensive lineman at Leeds High School, he redshirted in 2012 as he changed positions for college football, learning how to play the game when not lining up with his hand on the ground like he did as a defensive end and noseguard for the Green Wave.

Mitchell saw action as a reserve linebacker and on special teams in 13 games for the Tigers in 2013, missing only the game in Pasadena due to a foot injury.

He made eight solo tackles with five assists during the season while playing on all of the special teams units and on the short yardage defense.

Mitchell's most memorable game came at Arkansas. He made third and fourth down stops on a goal line stand vs. the Razorbacks and also recovered an onside kick in that contest.

While his teammates are heading into winter workouts to prepare for spring training, Mitchell is focused on rehab.

"I have some torn ligaments in my foot and I had to get some screws put in," he said. "I?am mostly doing upper body stuff. I am trying to stay off my feet as much as possible to help the whole therapy process."

The linebacker said he won't be able to participate in spring drills, but added he expects to be ready for action for his sophomore season.

Asked how his adjustment to linebacker went under the direction of Ellis Johnson, his position coach and defensive coordinator, Mitchell said, "It went pretty well. I learned a lot of stuff, especially from Coach Johnson. I am still developing and I am trying to get back from this injury. I should be 100 percent this coming fall."

"He is a great coach," Mitchell said of Johnson. "He doesn't spare our feelings. He tells us everything that we need to hear.

"He is just a great coach overall, especially with our fundamentals and our tackling," the 6-2, 210 linebacker added. "We improved a lot over the season with our tackling and it is because of Coach Johnson."

The Tigers improved in many areas from 2012 to 2013 as they bounced back from a 3-9 season to finish the year 12-2 as SEC champions.

Asked why the Tigers had such a good team in 2013, Mitchell said, "What makes us good is the unity that we have with the team. Everybody knows everybody. Everybody responds to everybody appropriately. We had good chemistry on the team."

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