ARMY AA BOWL: Army All-American selection tour
MANSFIELD, Texas - To no one's surprise, it's hard for Mansfield Legacy cornerback Tevin Mitchel to describe the last year.
It started off like any senior-to-be. Mitchel was looking forward to his final high school season at Legacy and hoping to add some scholarship offers. Little did he know this spring, it was more than a little interest coming in from colleges. His mailbox was full and he went on to make a verbal commitment to Nebraska. Then on Friday morning, the talented corner capped it off with another huge honor.
In front of his school, family, and coaches, Mitchel was announced as a 2011 U.S. Army All-American.
"I would like to thank the U.S. Army for giving me the opportunity to participate in the Army All-American Bowl," Mitchel said after a standing ovation in his school's gymnasium. "I also want to thank Legacy High, my dad, my family, my head coach, my coaching staff, trainers, the fans, teammates, and all of you guys that have been there for me. My teachers… I just want to thank you all."
Afterwards, the 6-foot, 175-pound defensive back, didn't hesitate to share just how big of a day this was for him.
"It's the best day I've ever had in my life," Mitchel said. "It's a blessing. It's just a great day."
The year in itself with the successful recruiting process and this moment is hard for him to put into words.
"I really can't," Mitchel said when trying to describe it. "It came at me so fast. I'm just thankful. I'm real humbled. Most kids don't have the ability to play on the field, so I just want to thank God for anything he's done for me."
Mitchel is the son of former Oklahoma Sooner quarterback Eric Mitchel. For his father, it was certainly a proud moment to see his son receive the honor.
"It's quite an accomplishment from where he's come from," Mitchel's father said. "I've seen a lot mentally that he's been through and the entire family is proud. He's pretty amazed himself."
The journey really began as a freshman for Legacy when he was a running back for the Broncos. It was just his first year to play organized football.
He eventually moved to wide receiver, but his size and athleticism in the defensive backfield is what drew the coast-to-coast college attention.
After a solid junior season, Mitchel went from a rising recruit to one of the top cornerback prospects in the country. Right after attending a NIKE Training Camp in Fort Worth, Texas, Mitchel's scholarship total ballooned and it was clear that he understood how big of a decision he had to make.
Legacy coach Chris Melson said it's big not just for Mitchel but for the entire area.
"I'm not sure how many players have played in this game from Mansfield ISD," Melson said. "I think it's a huge honor. It's huge for our team and our program. Tevin has only been in one football program, it's this one. Second year, we put him at receiver, and kind of the same, athletic, kind of figuring it out. Then we put him in the defensive backfield, and he just took off.
"I'm very happy for Tevin. He definitely will represent the [U.S. Army Bowl] in a great way."
Melson also added that he expects Mitchel to show his versatility not just at the U.S. Army Bowl game in San Antonio, but at the college level.
"His explosiveness on defense, he's got great instincts, great feet, he can run really fast, but he likes to hit," Melson said. "He could possibly return kicks, he's a good receiver for us. Every time he touches it, we have a chance for something big to happen. He's just a big-play player. I want to see that continue for the rest of the season, hopefully in the playoffs, and that's what I think he can do."
Despite continuing interest from schools such as Arkansas and Oklahoma, Mitchel said he'll be representing his high school team and where he'll play in college.
"It's a big deal, real big deal because that's my future school and I want to represent them as much as possible just like I do Legacy," Mitchel said about Nebraska.
Mitchel is currently ranked as the nation's No. 6 cornerback prospect by Rivals.com and is a member of the Rivals250.