Mitchell, selected Louisiana's Mr. Basketball for 2002, announced his decision in front of a packed house at Clambeaux's Restaurant in his hometown of St. Martinville. He picked the Tigers over Houston and Oklahoma due in large part to LSU's proximity to his hometown.
"I guess it came down to just wanting to stay close to home," said Mitchell. "I wanted to come to LSU so that my family and friends could some and support me."
In his senior season at St. Martinville High, Mitchell (5-11) averaged 24.6 points per game with 3.3 assists, 2.9 steals and 3.1 rebounds. He shot 81.1 percent at the free throw line and 41 percent from 3-point range. In early December, Mitchell reached the 2,000-point mark for his career and went on to lead the St. Martinville Tigers to the Class 4A state championship.
In addition to all-state honors, Mitchell was also named the 2002 Farm Bureau Mr. Basketball winner for Louisiana.
Mitchell joins three other LSU signees for 2002: forward Jamie Lloreda (6-10) Dixie (Utah) Junior College; forward Tim Bush (6-8) Archbishop Shaw; guard Tony Gipson (6-2)Carthage (Texas) Junior College. Forward Milden Ambers of Opelousas will walk on at LSU in the fall.
"We're extremely pleased that Darrel Mitchell has chosen to continue his athletic career and education at LSU," said LSU coach John Brady. "We feel that with Darrel and signing Tim Bush early we have without question signed the two best players in Louisiana.
"Darrel will be able to come in and play either the 2 or the 1 position, but we are looking at him to mainly be our point guard. He comes from a winning program and he was coached by his father, who has done an excellent job. We are excited about having Darrel and the whole St. Martinville community a part of the LSU basketball program."