It didn’t take cornerback Tevin Mitchel long to get on the radar at the College Gridiron Showcase’s first practice Tuesday at Pennington Field.
Mitchel spent some time with representatives from the San Francisco 49ers and New York Jets after practice, and hopes to continue making an impression as the week goes along with the game being held at 1:30 p.m. Saturday at UT Arlington’s Maverick Stadium.
Scouts from the NFL, Canadian Football League and Arena Football League are evaluating players all week.
Mitchel, a former Mansfield Legacy High School All-American, is coming off a four-year career at Arkansas where he played in 43 games, including 11 last season.
Digital Access For Only $0.99
For the most comprehensive local coverage, subscribe today.
In his first season with the Razorbacks, Mitchel was named to the All-Southeastern Conference freshman team. As a senior, he had two interceptions and eight pass breakups. For his college career, Mitchel finished with four interceptions, 18 pass breakups and six tackles for loss.
Mitchel is getting ready for a potential pro career by working out at the Michael Johnson Performance Center in McKinney.
On Saturday, Mitchel will play for the Desperados team, coached by former Oklahoma running back and United States Football League/NFL star Marcus Dupree. Former Dallas Cowboys tight end Doug Cosbie will coach the Wranglers.
What does it mean to already have some interest from NFL teams? If you’re one of the players out here competing and trying to make it, that’s always exciting just to see a team come talk to you. At the same time, you have to remain humble. I’m not the arrogant type of guy. I try to take advantage of these moments, be respectful and enjoy the experience.
Why is this week so important for your career? It’s important to get into a game like this and it’s a blessing. You get a chance to meet other guys and just meet other people — teammates, coaches, scouts. It’s just a humbling experience and I’m ready to get to it.
How much did the SEC prepare you for the next level? I learned a lot from it. You know, the first person I went to my freshman year was [current Minnesota Vikings wide receiver] Jarius Wright and just did a lot of work with him. He was my mentor, and I was always in good hands with him. That helped me a lot, and then every week is a challenge in the SEC — just a great conference. It helped me a lot with my eyes, my feet, my ability.
Your dad, Eric, was a drafted by New England out of Oklahoma back in 1989. What has he told you about this process? He talks to me everyday about this. He’s been through it, so he’s the guy I go with all my questions to get answers. And he always tells me straight up, so it’s good to have him.
Is Pennington Field is a special place for you? I always do well in Texas. This is the stadium where I caught my first high school touchdown. I ran a post route for a 60-yard TD [against L.D. Bell as a senior]. I was a team captain that year and it just goes by fast. Now that I look at it, my college career is over with and it’s like eight years of my football life just flew by. My father told me this would happen and it did. It’s gone by fast.
You battled some injuries in college. How are you doing physically? I’m doing pretty good right now. I had a hamstring injury during [fall] camp and missed the first two games this year. I had a labrum tear in my shoulder last spring, and in 2012 I had my gallbladder removed. But I’m past those and everything feels good right now.”
Drew Davison, 817-390-7760
College Gridiron Showcase
1:30 p.m., Saturday
Maverick Stadium, Arlington
Notable players: Tevin Mitchel (Arkansas/Mansfield Legacy), Darius White (Missouri/Fort Worth Dunbar), John Harris (Texas), Levi Norwood (Baylor), Cyril Lemon (North Texas), Antonio Johnson (North Texas), Floyd Raven (Texas A&M), Ricky Collins (Texas A&M-Commerce), Charles Tuaau (Texas A&M-Commerce) and Ashton Dorsey (Texas A&M-Commerce)