Spring 2004 Team Most Improved Cornerback
A speed-merchant who, as the fastest man on the Tiger squad, is one of the Big 12 Conference's top kick returners ... Broke the team record in the 40-yard dash, at a blazing 4.28 seconds in the spring ... Is emerging as a solid cornerback on defense, and will serve double duty as MU's top kick returner, where he is a threat to go the distance each time he touches the ball ... Had a solid spring that saw him earn the team's most improved cornerback award ... Had a tackle for a loss of 2 yards in the Black and Gold scrimmage ... Enters the fall at No. 1 on the depth chart at one corner spot.
Served as MU's top kick returner, and also doubled as a cornerback, where he switched to after playing wide receiver each of his first 2 years, and played primarily in nickel and dime packages ... Ranked 37th nationally with his kickoff return average of 24.1 yards per attempt, which was right at his average of 24.1 in 2002... Was ranked in the top-20 nationally prior to game No. 11 with Kansas State, but the Wildcats pooch kicked and sky kicked all night, and limited him to 25 yards total on 2 returns ... Had a long return on the year of 46 yards, which he's did twice - once at Ball State and again versus Texas A&M ... Had 5 returns for 140 yards against A&M for a season high in yardage ... Took the opening kick against Ball State 46 yards, nearly breaking it the distance ... Was a solid contributor in the Tiger secondary, especially given his newness to the position of cornerback ... Recorded 18 tackles, including a season-high 6 playing at then #1-Oklahoma ... Made his first career start the next week at home versus Texas Tech, as MU employed a nickel package most of the game against the Red Raider pass-happy attack ... Ended with 4 tackles vs. Tech, and was credited with 2 passes broken up and 1 quarterback hurry ... Grabbed first career interception in the regular season finale versus Iowa State, when he nabbed a Cyclone pass in the endzone late in the game ... His 4 pass break ups ranked 6th on the team.
Emerged as one of the Big 12 Conference's top kick returners ... Used his blazing speed to average a team-best 24.1 yards per kickoff return -- a figure which ranked him 5th in the Big 12, and 26th in the NCAA standings ... That average was the 8th-best in MU single-season history for those with 10 or more attempts ... It was the highest average by any Tiger since Ricardo Rhodes averaged 31.3 on 13 attempts in 1998 ... Nearly took one the distance in week 7 at Texas Tech, when he raced 89 yards to the Red Raider 11 yard line before being stopped -- leaving him just 11 yards shy of becoming the first Tiger since 1982 to return a kickoff for a TD (Ricky Doby vs. Oklahoma State, 85 yards) ... The 89-yard scamper was the longest kickoff return at MU since 1976, when former great Joe Stewart returned a kickoff for a 100-yard TD against Oklahoma State ... Caught 2 passes on the year for 15 yards, with a long grab of 13 yards in week 2 against Ball State ... Also had one rush on the year, which went for 6 yards on a reverse against Troy State in week 4 ... Started twice during the season (at Nebraska and Texas Tech).
Played in all 11 games, and shared time on offense as the slot receiver with Thomson Omboga ... Caught 6 passes on the season for 38 yards and a long of 17 ... Pulled in 3 catches for 6 yards in his Tiger debut against Bowling Green ... Had 3 receptions for 29 yards in Missouri's victory over Southwest Texas State ... Also registered one solo tackle on the Tiger special teams forces.
Was a partial qualifier and was forced to spend the year on the scout-team, where he was one of the top scout-team players for the Tigers ... Named offensive scout-team "Player of the Week" vs. Colorado.
A first-team Class 5A all-state selection voted upon by the Associated Press ... Led District 7- 5A with 64 catches totaling 1,094 yards ... Also rushed for 307 yards ... Picked Missouri over a host of Big 12 schools including Kansas State, Oklahoma, and Iowa State as well as Minnesota.
Son of Don Mitchell and Shirley Barnett ... High school coach - Ken Ozee ... Born May 16, 1982 ... Academic interest- business.
MITCHELL CAREER STATISTICS Tackles G-GS P-UN Total TFLs PBU INT 2003 13-1 17-1 18 0-0 4 1-0 Totals 13-1 17-1 18 0-0 4 1-0
Kick Returns No. Yds. Avg. TD Long 2001 1 18 18.0 0 18 2002 16 385 24.1 0 89 2003 22 530 24.1 0 46 Totals 39 933 23.9 0 89
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