"A day after I got back from my official visit to Vanderbilt I committed to Coach Mason," Mitchell said. "What sold me is the drive (Coach Mason) has to get things turned around at Vanderbilt. I talked with Coach Thompson and really liked their plan on how they were going to use me in the defense. He wants to use me at outside linebacker in the 3-4 to take advantage of my versatility and athleticism. I liked everything he had to say on that. Another big reason I chose Vandy was the academics, which is second to none in the country. My family and I are definitely excited about it. They know they'll be able to watch me play at the highest level on TV every week while getting a valuable education.
When I arrived at Nashville this past weekend I felt at home right away. I had made a previous official visit to UTSA and it didn't feel right, didn't get the same feeling as I did in Nashville. My host was Harding Harper, an inside linebacker from Alabama. The team treated me like I was already one of them, like I had been playing with them already. That also played a big part in my decision. It meant a lot to me how welcoming everybody was, both players and coaches. They presented me with a friendly, welcoming atmosphere from the moment I arrived. Then I toured campus and the facilities. Everything was amazing. It far surpassed my expectations. I didn't have a favorite moment, I enjoyed the whole trip, but I will say we ate at a lot of great restaurants. The food was outstanding."
Mitchell, an Oakland native, was a 2012 graduate of Bishop O'Dowd. His first stop after high school came at Sacramento State. After a redshirt season in 2012, he played in all 12 games on the defensive line in 2013 at the FCS program. When that season ended, he decided to return to the Bay Area and reboot at CCSF.
"At CCSF I had a chance to compete against guys who will be playing D-1 ball next year," he said. "We were always game-planning for those guys. It seemed like we were facing a bunch of top D-1 guys every week so it felt like we never really got any weeks off. Facing that kind of talent and competition will help me when I get to Vandy in the spring. I feel like I already have the SEC mentality of knowing there won't be any easy games on the schedule.
"I've played d-end at CCSF, but Vandy wants to put me at outside linebacker. Coach Kenwick Thompson believes I can do different things than just rush the passer but also drop back in pass coverage in zone situations. I think I'm in good hands. Coach Thompson's a really good guy who I'll learn a lot from. My goal is to go in next spring and compete for the staring spot. Coach Mason let me know it's up for grabs and they want to make me that guy who can come in and take it over for the next two years. I'm excited to get out there and compete in the SEC on Saturdays."
Mitchell's season at CCSF isn't compete yet. The top-ranked team in Northern California will face Mt. San Antonio College, the Southern California champion, in Walnut, Calif. on December 13th.
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