Talented Junior Likely to Have Options

An in-state junior three-sport prospect who has an interest in Auburn is featured.

Russellville, Ala.--One of the more interesting all-around athletes in state among current high school juniors is Russellville's Caleb Mitchell.

A first team All-State pick in football last fall, he is currently having a strong season in baseball on one of the top teams in north Alabama. A centerfielder and shortstop, Mitchell is hitting close .500 this spring.

In football playing safety and cornerback, he made 37 tackles with six interceptions and he returned three for scores. On offense the speedy receiver scored three touchdowns as he caught nine passes for 120 yards.

Mitchell and his teammates will be playing for a new head coach this fall and will be going through spring training in May as Doug Goodwin takes over the program. Goodwin, who comes to Russellville from Demopolis High School, has a well-deserved reputation for putting up lots of yardage and lots of points on offense.

"I am ready to see what he is like," Mitchell says. "I don't know what position I will play. I talked to him once and he said he wants to put the ball in my hand on offense, but I have got to play defense, too."

Mitchell, who is currently waiting on his first football scholarship offer, is hearing from a variety of colleges including Clemson, Alabama, Louisville and others in addition to Auburn where he visited for a game last fall. He says he grew up a fan of the Tide, but the visit to AU's campus was impressive and he is definitely interested in Auburn.

"I am going to Auburn's summer football camp and maybe to Bama's, too," he says.

Mitchell, who also starts at guard on the basketball team, may be one of those athletes who has a choice on what sport he wants to play after high school. "My coach told me that I can get drafted in baseball," the junior says.

Mitchell notes that he isn't sure whether baseball or football is his best sport. He says in football his best position is safety. If he chooses to compete in either sport in college, academics shouldn't be a problem. He reports that he already has a qualifying ACT score plus a 3.28 grade point average.

At 6-0, 175 Mitchell isn't a big football player, but he has excellent speed. He has been timed at well under 4.5 seconds for the 40. "I have always run a lot and I have been pretty quick on my feet," he says.

He is currently showing that speed on the baseball diamond. "I had 30-something stolen bases my sophomore year and my freshman year I had close to 40," Mitchell says. "I am not sure how many I have this season."

When asked what he believes his best attribute is in football, Mitchell says, "I read the quarterbacks pretty well and I am quick at getting to the ball. I want to work at making more tackles this year."

Despite a busy three-sport schedule, the junior hasn't neglected his strength training. "Last time I maxed out on the bench it was like 265, my squat was 450 and my clean was 250."

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