Mitchell returns to Hamilton

HAMILTON, Ala. -- In 2011, Denzel Mitchell started at Hamilton High School as an eighth grader on the varsity football team. He left for Arkansas for two years, picked up some scholarship offers, and is now back home...

Hamilton, Ala. is where Denzel Mitchell calls home.

The junior running back grew up in the small town in western Alabama and even when he moved with his parents to Jonesboro, Ark. two years ago, he called Hamilton home.

He is back. Since he left, he became a four-star prospect on Scout, he picked up his first few scholarship offers, and he got bigger.

Mitchell is excited to be back with his childhood friends.

"It feels great to be back home," said Mitchell. "I am playing with the guys again that I grew up playing with in little league. I have a lot of good friends here and we are now juniors playing together at Hamilton.

"I had a good time in Arkansas, but I would come back to Hamilton almost every weekend. I wanted to be with my friends, so it is great to be back."

Hamilton head football coach, Rodney Stidham is happy to have Mitchell back too. The junior now has scholarship offers from Arkansas, Arkansas State, Ole Miss, Tennessee, and UAB.

The 5-foot-11, 209 pound running backs is excited.

"It feels good to have offers. I thank God for them and me and my parents are excited about the opportunities."

Arkansas State was the first school to offer Mitchell. Next was the Razorbacks. He has been on the Arkansas campus twice already.

"I went to a camp at Arkansas, then I went to the Texas A&M game last year, and I liked it there," said Mitchell. "I love how they run the ball, how they have great running backs, and I really like the coaches. It was great to get an offer from them."

A couple other SEC schools offered over the summer, Ole Miss and Tennessee. He doesn't know much about UT yet, but he has spent time in Oxford.

"I have been to Ole Miss for a camp and a for a game before, so I know a little about them. I like how Coach [Hugh] Freeze (Head coach) has changed the program around.

"I have talked to Coach Freeze and some of the assistant coaches at Ole Miss and I like them all. They all talked to me about playing as a true freshman and they are cool guys."

Of course with Mitchell being from Alabama, like it seems everyone in that state, his family is fans of the Tigers or the Tide.

He though, grew up a fan of another SEC school.

"My family is divided between Alabama and Auburn, but I did not get into that stuff. I am really just a fan of the SEC, but growing up, my favorite school had to be Florida. I loved them when they had Tim Tebow and Percy Harvin. It would be nice to get an offer from them."

Auburn has shown some interest, Florida has not, yet. Alabama is aware of the talented back with power and speed, so could an offer be on its way?

"I went to camp at Alabama and it was nice. They had a lot of top players there and Coach [Nick] Saban (Head coach) told me they were interested in me and that I should have an offer from them this season. He told me they would be watching me."

An Alabama would be nice, but it is not an offer that would accelerate Mitchell in the recruiting process. He is keeping an open mind and he plans to take things day by day.

"I just want to take my time and weigh out my different options," said Mitchell. "My parents are going through this process with me, so we will talk things over, look at the different offers, and see what is best for me.

"I will look at how schools use their running backs, what the depth chart looks like, and things like that. I am going to look at all the schools that offer me a scholarship."

Mitchell is the No. 7 running back and No. 82 overall prospect for 2016 on Scout.

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