One-on-One with Mitch John

Earlier this week Broncos Illustrated sat down with San Diego, California native Mitch John. Mitch talked to us about being down on the quarterback depth chart, how he came to Western Michigan and what his plans are for the future here at Western Michigan.

Give me your perspective of the season from being 3 or 4 spots down on the quarterback depth chart.

"It's been hard. I've just been trying to prepare myself the best I can and if I got put in this year I wanted to be ready. But, I'm just looking forward to next year for spring ball. Trying to get as best I can to get in shape and everything getting ready to play. Hopefully it will open a chance to compete for the starting spot."

I checked the media guide and it talked about you owning virtually all the quarterback records over at San Diego La Jolla. Could you talk about that a little bit?

"We got put into a position where a running back my junior year, he's at Colorado State right now, blew out his knee. So we started throwing the ball more and I had some really good receivers and you just plugged away at it and our school had been primarily a running team. More play action type of team than being kind of opened up so four receiver set and just went out and had fun then."

What actually brought you here to Western Michigan? How did you find out about the school?

"I actually watched a game on TV. I think they were playing Marshall in the MAC Championship and it seemed like the program was on the rise. I sent a bunch of tapes out to a whole bunch of schools and coaches were really interested, actually found me kind of late. I came out basically because when I came out on the recruiting trip the situation with (Jeff) Welsh leaving after that year I thought I might have a chance to start as a redshirt freshman. That was incentive and also the facilities are extremely nice here and definitely a factor in coming here too."

Did you call the university? Because someone said you were being recruited by Houston and Pittsburgh.

"Yeah, Pittsburgh actually offered me a scholarship my junior year, March of my junior year. I went back there in the summer their camp and I didn't commit because I didn't like the campus really. I didn't really want to commit before my senior season anyway, just because and they decided they didn't want to take a quarterback anyway because some other kid came in, Palko or something the year after me. They're probably going to start next year or whatever, he's talented. Then Houston kind of fell through too and then South Florida and Oklahoma State were interested in me too. But they told me to go ahead and, they weren't sure that there would be a scholarship available so at the time this was the only scholarship I had and I liked it here. So, I committed."

Somebody said and there's talk that you were getting frustrated and you were thinking about leaving after this season. Are you still going to be here next your or what's going on?

"Yeah, most definitely. It always goes through your head. I'm sitting on the depth chart on a 3-8 team. I mean it's frustrating that you don't get your chance to play, but Coach Darnell said that if things didn't go well this season that in spring he said he could open it up. So I'm going to work as hard as I can and be ready in the spring to go earn it."

Speaking of the spring. Last spring game; last spring practice you injured your hand playing a pick-up game of basketball. Do you think that may have had something to do with everything?

"Definitely. Obviously I didn't get any reps, pretty much all through spring ball. That's kind of the chance to show that you can play. So I got limited reps in fall camp because of that so that definitely hurt. I understand why I didn't get so many reps in fall camp due to that."

Are you looking at being able to show more of what you're able to do this spring? Are you going to kind of stay away from pick-up games of basketball?

"I'm just going to concentrate on football definitely and just work hard. Get bigger, stronger and faster and work on mechanics."

So we can look forward to you in the spring making a statement and hopefully moving up on the depth chart?

"Definitely. I'm going to work as hard as I can to prove myself in the spring. So I should be ready."

Give me your thoughts on this season and the upcoming game with Central Michigan.

"I didn't know how intense of a rivalry it was until last year. I saw how both teams got up for it, our players. It seems like it's a lot more important in the Michigan players, the rivalry in between, because to me I wanted to beat the teams like Michigan and Purdue, the bigger schools. But there's no doubt they don't like us too much and we don't like them and I'm starting to really realize what the rivalry is about."

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