Coach Spotlight: Albert Mitchell

Albert Mitchell's stock is steadily rising after a convincing junior season under center at Christ Presbyterian Academy in Nashville, Tenn. The 6-foot-3, 180-pound quarterback is in good hands to develop his passing skills. This season the ‘CPA' Lions brought in Nashville native and former NFL quarterback, Ingle Martin, as head coach.

"This was our first fall [at CPA]," said Martin, who coached last year as an assistant at Ensworth. "Albert did a great job in our ever evolving offense. At the end of the year he was playing really well. We made it to the final four, probably a couple plays away from playing for a state championship. We counted on Albert's athleticism and leadership to take us there. I think we can get even farther next season."

Mitchell had more than 1,400 yards passing and more than 400 rushing to help CPA to the Tennessee AAA state semifinals, the third best season in the school's history. Martin believes we've only seen the tip of the iceberg of Mitchell's talent.

"What will help him the most in his development is how much he works at it," Martin said. "He wants to be good, and that's an important factor often overlooked. You need to be willing do to all the extra things to get better. His game has every facet you look for in a quarterback. He has a strong arm, but can beat you with his legs. He does a good job of reading defenses and leading our guys on the field."

Mitchell lead the Lions to two come-from-behind victories in the state playoffs. Against Goodpasture Christian, he threw a 58 yard Hail Mary touchdown at the end of half to put CPA up by two which would prove to be the difference in the 24-22 win. He also rallied the Lions past Nashville's Pearl-Cohn in the quarterfinals. The tape has made the rounds, and now Mitchell is hearing a lot from college recruiters.

Virginia and Cincinnati have come by the school," said Martin on Division 1 interest for Mitchell. "Boston College has called as well as a host of others. I think we'll know by the spring where he stands in being able to gage the interest. This summer I'm hoping to get him to some camps to compete against some of the top quarterbacks in this year's class."

In the off-season, Mitchell has been working with former University of Alabama great and 14-year NFL veteran, Jeff Rutledge, who now coaches at Pope John Paul II High School in nearby Hendersonville.

From 1995 to 2001, Rutledge worked as the Vanderbilt quarterbacks coach for Commodore teams helmed by Rod Dowhower and Woody Widenhofer. Rutledge has taken an interest in Mitchell and also provides him with expertise from football's highest level.

"Jeff comes from a successful NFL background," Martin said. "He had a long playing career and was the Arizona Cardinals' quarterbacks coach the year they went to the Super Bowl. It gives Albert the chance to work with someone who knows what it takes to get there and what college coaches are looking for. Tennessee high school rules prohibit me being able to coach Albert in the off-season. He'll learn a lot under Coach Rutledge's watchful eye."

In addition to Boston College, Virginia, and Cincinnati, Mitchell has heard from Mississippi State's Angelo Mirando, Vanderbilt's John Donovan, Kentucky's Steve Pardue, North Carolina State's Jerry Petercuskie, and Western Kentucky's Walt Wells. He was hearing from Tennessee's Peter Sirmon prior to his departure to Washington.

The Lions return an abundance of talent in 2012 including Mitchell's twin brother, Don, an offensive guard. The two brothers have attended Christ Presbyterian Academy since kindergarten. Mitchell has a 3.3 GPA and is a three year honor student. He wears No. 14 for the CPA Lions.

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