POSITION: Wide Receiver
COLLEGE: University of South Florida Bulls
HOMETOWN: Lutz, Florida
HIGH SCHOOL: Gaither High School
A physical receiver in the mold of Denver's Brandon Marshall, Mitchell became the Big East Conference's premier deep threat as a junior, despite missing several games with an ankle sprain. The split end played in just 37 games for the Bulls, but he set both the school career (1,648) and season (706 in 2009) records for receiving yardage.
"Carlton can flat fly," USF receivers coach Phil McGeoghan stated recently. "He has all the tools, all the ability. He is very diligent in his route running and his assignments. He is getting better, I see him improving everyday. He comes out here, works early and stays late. Carlton Mitchell is just a very talented guy who is big, tall, athletic, and has all the gifts you want in a receiver."
What surprised many within the Bulls organization was Mitchell's decision to forgo his senior season to enter the 2010 NFL Draft. With his injury issues and playing in a run-oriented offense at USF, the talented split end has never caught more than 40 passes in any season, nor scored more than four touchdowns in a campaign. He reached his decision before USF had fired coach Jim Leavitt, so the two transactions aren't directly related.
Still, no one can question his athletic bloodlines. Mitchell also performed on the USF track team, competing in the 400 meters and the long jump during the 2007-08 outdoor campaign. His father, Carl Mitchell played professional basketball in Europe. Even his mother, Angela, has long ties to the sports industry. She presently serves as the "cut-man" for professional boxer, Antonio Tarver.
Mitchell lettered three times in football and basketball at Gaither High School. He garnered All-County honorable mention from the Tampa Tribune and was a member of the Class 5A All-District V team during his senior season with the Cowboys. He was rated the 19th-best player in Tampa Bay area by the St. Petersburg Times.
The senior was ranked 64th-best player in the state of Florida by Rivals.com, placing 55th among the nation's receivers. Scout.com ranked him as Florida's 87th-best prospect, even though he played in a ball controlled offense that limited him to nine catches for 207 yards as a junior.
Mitchell spent the 2006 season at the University of South Florida performing on the scout team. Even though he started just five games in 2007, he set the school freshmen season-records with 37 receptions (led the team) for 537 yards (rank fifth on the USF annual record list), as his four touchdowns were one shy of another freshman mark. He was the only player on the team to gain over 100 yards receiving in a game in 2007, accomplishing that feat twice.
Mitchell had a "sophomore slump" that relegated him to just three starting assignments in 2008. He placed fourth on the team with 28 catches, gaining 405 yards (14.46 ypc) with one touchdown. He added a pair of solo tackles and produced at least one reception in ten games, including his final seven.
Mitchell received All-Big East Conference third-team honors in 2009. He led the team with 40 receptions for a school season-record 706 yards (17.65 ypc), that included four touch-downs. He suffered a left high ankle sprain vs. West Virginia that forced him to miss the Rutgers and Louisville contests, seeing limited action vs. Miami upon his return.
Mitchell started 18-of-37 games at South Florida, catching 105 passes for 1,648 yards (15.70 ypc) and nine touchdowns, adding 24 yards on five carries (4.8 ypc) while scoring 54 points and recording four solo tackles…His 105 grabs rank fifth on the school career-record list, topped by Hugh Smith (131, 1999-2002), Huey Whittaker (117, 2001-03), Taurus Johnson (112 2005-08) and Jessie Hester (107, 2005, 2007-09)…His 40 receptions in 2009 tied Hugh Smith (2001) for the fifth-best season performance by a USF player…his 139 yards receiving vs. Syracuse in 2009 was the fifth-best game performance in school annals…Mitchell's five 100-yard receiving performances for the Bulls set a school all-time record, topping the previous best of four by Hugh Smith (1999-2002)…Mitchell holds the USF career-record with 1,648 yards receiving, topping the previous mark of 1,523 yards by Hugh Smith…His 706 yards receiving in 2009 broke Smith's old Bulls season-record of 661 in 2002…His nine touchdown catches rank behind DeAndrew Rubin (14, 1999-2002), Taurus Johnson (12, 2005-08), Hugh Smith (10, 1999-2002) and R.J. Anderson (10, 1998-99) on the USF career-record chart…Mitchell's 85-yard reception vs. Syracuse in 2009 was the second-longest in school history, topped by DeAndrew Rubin (95 vs. Northern Illinois in 2002), while his 75-yarder vs. Central Florida in 2007 rank tied for seventh on that chart.
All-Big East Conference third-team choice by Phil Steele…Started 10-of-11 games he played in at the "X" receiver position, coming off the bench vs. Miami while sitting out the Rutgers and Louisville clashes after suffering a left high ankle sprain vs. West Virginia…
Still managed to lead the team with 40 receptions for a school season-record 706 yards (17.65 ypc) and four touchdowns…Scored 24 points and recorded a solo tackle in the Pittsburgh clash…Had 58 passes targeted to him (caught 68.97%), as three tosses were deflected by the opposition…Recorded 24 first downs, converting 10-of-13 third-down throws and two more on fourth-down action…Fifteen of his receptions gained at least 10 yards, including twelve for 20 yards or longer…Had key catches that led to fourteen USF touchdown drives and on two other possessions that resulted in field goals.
2009 GAME ANALYSIS
Wofford…Mitchell had six receptions for 37 yards in the season opener, as his third-&-6 grab for 9 yards kept alive a possession that was capped by a 3-yard touchdown run by Moise Plancher early in the first quarter…Head to Head Competition-CB#49-Jordan Ingman (5:08-172)…Mitchell Offensive Impact-The receiver caught 6-of-7 passes targeted to him (85.71%), converting 1-of-1 third-down plays while registering four first downs… Gained 37 of the team's 185 yards passing.
Western Kentucky…Recorded the first of his three 100-yard receiving performances for the season, totaling 130 yards on four receptions…Set up Moise Plancher's 1-yard touch-down run with catches for 6 and 50 yards, both converting third-down plays…His 65-yard reception late in the third quarter was followed by a 7-yard touchdown run from QB B.J./ Daniels on the next play…Head to Head Competition-CB#21-Jihad Morris (6:00-182)… Mitchell Offensive Impact-The receiver caught 4-of-6 passes targeted to him (66.67%), converting 4-of-4 third-down plays while registering four first downs, along with catching two passes for at least 20 yards while coming up with key grabs on two touchdown drives…Gained 130 of the team's 208 yards passing.
Charleston Southern…Mitchell collected four balls for 63 yards…On the only snap during a mid first quarter possession, QB Matt Grothe hit a streaking Mitchell along the sidelines and the receiver won the foot race for a 50-yard touchdown…Head to Head Competition-CB#13-Jacques Bazile (5:09-172)…Mitchell Offensive Impact-The receiver caught 4-of-4 passes targeted to him (100.00%), converting 1-of-1 fourth-down plays while registering two first downs, along with catching one pass for at least 20 yards while coming up with key grabs on two touchdown drives…Gained 63 of the team's 298 yards passing.
Syracuse…Made the Big East Conference Weekly Honor Roll, as the split end matched his season-high with six catches for a career-high 139 yards and two touchdowns…He set up an early first quarter 26-yard scoring scamper by Mike Ford with a conversion of a third-&-4 toss for 5 yards…QB B.J. Daniels lobbed a 33-yard touchdown to the split end with 6:54 left in the first half…The Bulls began the third quarter with a quick strike from Daniels to Mitchell for an 85-yard touchdown…Record Watch-Mitchell's 85-yarder was the second-longest reception in school history…Head to Head Competition-CB#28-Nico Scott (5:10-179)…Mitchell Offensive Impact-The receiver caught 6-of-8 passes targeted to him (62.25%), converting 2-of-2 third-down plays while registering four first downs, along with catching two passes for at least 20 yards while coming up with key grabs on four touch-down drives…Gained 139 of the team's 208 yards passing.
West Virginia…Well on his way to perhaps his best performance at USF, Mitchell suffered a second half left high ankle sprain vs. the Mountaineers that would sideline him for the Rutgers and Louisville contests…He finished the day with 132 yards and a touchdown on five receptions…Midway through the first quarter, QB B.J. Daniels found Mitchell on a 49-yard deep pass for a score…His game-long 69-yarder was downed at the WVU 9 and two plays later, Daniels lobbed an 11-yard touchdown to A.J. Love…With two minutes left in the third quarter, the split end injured his left ankle after getting tackled for a 1-yard loss after pulling in a screen pass…Record Watch-Mitchell's 85-yarder was the second-longest reception in school history…His 132 yards gave him 636 yards receiving for the season, moving past Jessie Hester (579 in 2008) for second place on the school season-record list…Head to Head Competition-CB#28-Nico Scott (5:10-179)… Mitchell Offensive Impact-The receiver caught 6-of-8 passes targeted to him (62.25%), converting 2-of-2 third-down plays while registering four first downs, along with catching two passes for at least 20 yards while coming up with key grabs on four touch-down drives…Gained 139 of the team's 208 yards passing.
Miami…Mitchell returned to limited action after missing the previous two games…He caught a third-&-3 pass for 21 yards, as USF quarterback threw just twice to the split end.
Connecticut…Two of Mitchell's four receptions helped set up touchdown drives, as he finished the day with 49 yards…After pulling in an 11-yard pass in the fourth quarter, he helped end that series by cut blocking defensive end Lindsey Witten to spring QB B.J. Daniels for a 27-yard score…He converted a fourth-&-2 toss into a 20-yard first down that was followed by Daniels' 8-yard touchdown burst with 4:02 left in the game…Head to Head Competition-CB#42-Robert McClain (5:09-178)…Mitchell Offensive Impact-The receiver caught 4-of-5 passes targeted to him (80.00%), converting 1-of-1 fourth-down plays while registering three first downs, along with catching three passes for at least 10 yards, including one for over 20 yards, while coming up with key grabs on two touchdown drives…Gained 49 of the team's 160 yards passing.
Northern Illinois (International Bowl)…In what would be Mitchell's final game for the Bulls, he snared six passes for 94 yards in a 27-3 victory…On the first possession for the second half, he came up with third-down catches for first downs of 31 yards and then a 6-yarder that was downed at the NIU 2. The drive stalled and USF settled for a 19-yard field goal…
Mitchell later pulled in a B.J. Daniels pass for 21 yards on a third-&-4 toss to set up the QB's 7-yard touchdown toss two plays later…Record Watch-Mitchell closed out the year with 706 receiving yards, topping Hugh Smith (661 in 2002) for the school season-record…
Head to Head Competition-CB#5-Chris Smith (5:10-185)…Mitchell Offensive Impact-The receiver caught 6-of-7 passes targeted to him (85.71%), converting 2-of-5 third-down plays while registering two first downs, along with catching three passes for at least 20 yards, coming up with key grabs on one touchdown drive and another possession that ended with a field goal…Gained 94 of the team's 217 yards passing.
Started three games as a slot receiver, appearing in thirteen contests…Finished fourth on the team with 28 receptions for 405 yards (14.46 ypc) and a touchdown…Rushed once for 7 yards and recorded a solo tackle in each of the Florida International and Syracuse clashes…Had at least one reception in ten games.
2008 GAME HIGHLIGHTS
Ran for a 7-yard gain and snatched three passes for 65 yards vs. Central Florida…Made four catches for 25 yards vs. Kansas, followed by another four grabs for 41 yards vs. North Carolina State, scoring for the only time in 2008 on a 9-yard first quarter toss from QB Matt Grothe…Caught three passes for 69 yards and posted a solo tackle in the Syracuse game…Had four receptions for a season-high 77 yards that included a 47-yard snatch vs. Cincinnati…Totaled 60 yards on four catches in a 41-14 victory over Memphis in the St. Petersburg Bowl.
Mitchell started five games, appearing in thirteen contests, sharing "X" receiver chores with senior Amarri Jackson…Set school season-records for freshmen with a team-high 37 receptions for 537 yards (rank fifth on the school overall season-record list), averaging 14.51 yards per grab that included four touchdowns…Also rushed four times for 17 yards (4.2 ypc) and recorded a solo tackle vs. Rutgers.
2007 GAME HIGHLIGHTS
Began his career by snaring four passes for 32 yards and gaining 3 yards on a reverse vs. Elon…His first career touchdown came on a 55-yard second quarter bomb from QB Matt Grothe in a 21-13 win over West Virginia…Caught two passes for 107 yards that included a season-long 75-yard fourth quarter touchdown vs. Central Florida…Made a season-high seven catches, registering his first career 100-yard receiving performance (110) that included a 51-yarder in the Cincinnati game…Added 61 yards on six receptions with a 15-yard score vs. Syracuse…Followed with 54 yards on four grabs, connecting with Matt Grothe on a third quarter 30-yard touchdown toss…Closed out the season with 32 yards on five catches vs. Pittsburgh.
Red-shirted as a freshman.
SOUTH FLORIDA TRACK
Competed on the 2008 squad in the 400 meters and long jump.
2009 Season…Suffered a left high ankle sprain when he was tackled for a loss with two minutes left vs. West Virginia (10/30), sitting out the next two games vs. Rutgers and Louisville before returning in a limited, reserve role vs. Miami (11/28).
CAMPUS AGILITY TESTS
4.40 in the 40-yard dash…1.52 10-yard dash…2.57 20-yard dash…4.39 20-yard shuttle…
11.60 60-yard shuttle…6.96 three-cone drill…36-inch vertical jump…10'2" broad jump… Bench pressed 225 pounds 16 times…32 ½-inch arm length…9 ¼-inch hands.
Attended Gaither (Lutz, Fla.) High School, playing football for head coach Mark Kantor…
Garnered All-County honorable mention from the Tampa Tribune and was a member of the Class 5A All-District V team during his senior season with the Cowboys…Rated the 19th-best player in Tampa Bay area by the St. Petersburg Times…The senior was ranked 64th-best player in the state of Florida by Rivals.com, placing 55th among the nation's receivers…Scout.com ranked him as Florida's 87th-best prospect, even though he played in a ball controlled offense that limited him to nine catches for 207 yards as a junior… Earned three letters each in both football and basketball.
Interdisciplinary Social Sciences major…Son of Angela and Carl Mitchell…Father played professional basketball in Europe…Mother is a "cut-man" for professional boxer, Antonio Tarver…Born 4/06/88 in Gainesville, Florida…Resides in Lutz, Florida.