2016 RB Prospect Talks Auburn Visit

Hamilton (Ala.) native and current Jonesboro (Ark.) High standout Denzel Mitchell talks about visiting Auburn.

Jonesboro, Ark.--Expected to be one of the top running back prospects in the country for the 2016 class, Denzel Mitchell already had offers from Arkansas, Arkansas State and Ole Miss before his visit to see the Auburn Tigers on Thursday. In town to watch Coach Gus Malzahn's team in action at practice and spend time with Rhett Lashlee, Tim Horton and company, Mitchell said everything about the trip went great.

"The visit was pretty nice," Mitchell said. "I got to watch practice and hang out with the coaches a little bit. I went out to lunch with Coach Horton. It was all good."

A 6-0, 200-pounder that ran for over 1,600 yards as a sophomore while missing three games, Mitchell already knew plenty about Auburn after growing up in the state. With his family split between Tigers and Crimson Tide growing up, he said getting to visit the Tigers and spend time on the Plains was a big deal for him.

"Growing up in Alabama, it was home and family being a big Auburn fan and everything," Mitchell said. "There were some Alabama fans, but mostly Auburn. The atmosphere is great. It was real good.

"I grew up in Hamilton, Ala., but I was a big-time Auburn fan," he added. "Bo Jackson was an idol to me. Just watching his old highlights is good stuff."

Bo Jackson is just one of the running backs in the long and rich history for the Tigers. Most recently it was Tre Mason that put up big numbers in Auburn's offense on the way to being a Heisman finalist in 2013. Mitchell said he's excited to see what they guys do this season because it's always productive with the Tigers.

"Mostly all of them have gone pro and done big things in the NFL," Mitchell said of Auburn running backs. "Tre Mason just went into the draft and now (Cameron) Artis-Payne and Corey Grant are sharing things. This year should be great for running backs."

Expecting to add offers from Clemson and Notre Dame in the coming weeks following visits to both schools, Mitchell said he's just waiting on Auburn to pull the trigger with an offer. While it may not be on the horizon, he feels like it could happen down the road after talking with the coaches.

"They said I've got two more years since I'm only a 2016," Mitchell said. "They said I was number one on their running list, but they were going to wait and offer me until my junior year or senior year.

"It shows me to keep working and not to give up," he added. "I just have to be dedicated to the sport. I just have to keep working. No days off pretty much."

And if that offer from Auburn does happen? Mitchell said it could potentially be a game-changer for him.

"It would mean a lot, a whole lot," Mitchell said. "I'm saying I would commit right then and there, but if I committed I would talk it over with my family first."


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