Mix said in a press conference with fellow junior Marcus McNeill on Wednesday evening that he had decided on Christmas that he was going to enter the 2005 NFL Draft. However, the receiver added that shortly after that point he changed his mind and decided that he wanted to be a part of the 2005 Auburn team and he kept that decision between himself and his parents.
Making the decision even more difficult was the fact that Mix had gotten back evaluations that had said he could have been drafted as high as the sixth round if he had stayed with his initial decision to leave Auburn.
Anthony Mix is shown in action at Mississippi State.
Although he has shown flashes of brilliance at times in his career, Mix hasn't been the difference-maker at wide receiver that many thought he could be when he signed with the Tigers out of Baldwin County High and again after a season at Hargrave Military Academy. In his first two seasons he combined for just 34 receptions and 428 yards with two touchdowns, but Coach Al Borges brought new life to the Auburn passing game and Mix in 2004.
Penciled in as the starter at slot receiver for the Tigers since the opener, Mix responded with his best year yet for Auburn. Helping the team to its highest offensive output overall since 1995, Mix caught 19 passes for 294 yards and three touchdowns this season.
Mix said he had a change of heart on his decision. "I told my parents on Christmas Eve I had made a decision to play in the NFL, but I changed my mind. I am coming back.
"I have a lot of problems of my own--personal problems, like financial problems. I was trying to take the easy way out. I was just riding around one day and it just hit me that I wanted to be here another year. I wanted to stay here another year with my teammates and try to do this thing again and have fun here at Auburn and finish up."
Mix said the team's 2004 success and the new offensive system were factors in his decision. He also noted that he is a role model for kids back home who he has counseled about the importance of finishing what you start.
"I am looking forward to seeing what is going to happen next year," Mix said. "Coach (Al) Borges is a great offensive coordinator. I had fun in his offense this year. Who knows what we are going to do next year in his offense."
Mix, who is working on a criminology degree, said he hopes that he can improve his draft status as a senior and leave Auburn with his diploma. Mix said the NFL draft evaluation projected that the highest he would be selected in the 2005 draft would be the sixth round.
He noted that the decisions that Ronnie Brown, Carnell Williams and Carlos Rogers made to return for their highly successful senior seasons are something he factored into his decision. "Sort of, but I am not as prestigious a player as Carnell and Ronnie and all of those guys are. It's not that somebody told me, ‘Anthony, if you come back this year you will go in the first or second round.' That is not my situation. Those guys came back and are looking forward to bigger and better things. Hopefully, I will be close to that."
Mix and McNeill both discussed wanting to be team leaders like members of last season's team were and that also influenced their decisions to stay.