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S Brandon Mitchell (official thread)

Discussion in 'Buckeye Alumni' started by FKAGobucks877, Apr 28, 2004.

  1. osugrad21

    osugrad21 Capo Regime Staff Member

    [​IMG] Brandon Mitchell Feature Tuesday, October 17, 2006 Courtesy of Marcus Hartman
    Buckeye Sports Bulletin staff writer
    After five years, Brandon Mitchell is enjoying his close-up.
    Though he first broke into the starting lineup three seasons ago as a free safety in the first game of the 2003 season with Ohio State beginning defense of its national championship, Mitchell?s career had been far from spectacular since.
    The redshirt freshman was overtaken by sophomore Nate Salley in the fourth game of that season, and the fight back to the top of the depth chart has been an arduous one.
    To the surprise of some, Mitchell emerged from his final preseason camp with both the look and sound of a player ready to be a leader on the field for the top-ranked Buckeyes and their rebuilt defense.
    At the midpoint of the season, he has not disappointed.
    After five games, Mitchell was second on the team with 30 tackles, including three for loss, and tied for the team lead in passes defended with three. He also was tied for second on the team with two turnovers gained.
    Both of those turnovers ? an interception and a fumble recovery ? one of the pass-breakups and five tackles came in Ohio State?s prime-time beating of then-No. 13 Iowa on Sept. 30.
    For that effort, Mitchell was named team defensive player of the week, a first for him at Ohio State. After four games directing traffic among the rebuilt back seven of the defense, it was the first public acknowledgment of his success on the field this season.
    Achievement off the field was never an issue. Mitchell got his degree in political science just three years after his arrival in Columbus from Atlanta, and he has been balancing football and graduate school for the past year.
    He said he initially did not intend to graduate early, but when it became apparent during his sophomore year that it would be possible, he decided to go for it.
    Although the graduate school course load is heavy (?Lots of papers,? Mitchell said), he?s glad he took the route of graduating early.
    ?It takes a lot of pressure off,? he said. ?A lot of guys promised their parents, and just like me, I promised my grandparents (Marquis and Ida Mitchell) that I?d get a degree when I came here. But already having that takes a lot of pressure off of me that, I do still have to focus on school but I can focus on football just as much.?
    Mitchell is finally back on the field thanks largely, he said, to improved preparation.
    ?I spend countless hours after everyone?s left the Woody Hayes (Athletic) Center, and I?m just watching film and watching my opponent,? he said. ?Trying to pick on little things, whether someone stands different on a certain play or that you can see a running back?s eyes look different. That preparation really helps. It?s just like studying for a math exam. You study for weeks and weeks before the exam. You can?t wait until the day before.
    ?I try and process all that information throughout the entire week, which really helps me on Saturday.?
    Ohio State coach Jim Tressel said Mitchell?s time on the bench might have had more to do with who was in front of him than with anything he was doing.
    ?I think Brandon Mitchell has always had a great handle on what it is we would like to do,? Tressel said. ?Sometimes he didn't have as many opportunities to do it, because we had some pretty good safeties. If you think about the safeties that have been here since Brandon's been here, guys like Donte Whitner and Nate Salley, you can only play a couple safeties at a time and those two guys are in the NFL right now. So I think he's always had a handle on what to do, now he's had a chance to prove that he can do it day after day.?
    Last spring, Whitner was the eighth overall pick in the NFL draft by the Buffalo Bills and Salley was drafted by the Carolina Panthers.
    As recently as late July, Mitchell?s chance to succeed those two did not look good. He was listed behind sophomore Nick Patterson on the depth chart as fall camp opened, the result of a lackluster performance during spring practice in April.
    ?In the spring Brandon was running with the twos, and he in my eyes kind of struggled as far as making plays, but I think he?s realized his time is now,? sophomore cornerback Malcolm Jenkins said in the middle of fall camp. ?This is his last year, and I think he?s really pressed and gotten a lot better over this camp.?
    By the time the jersey scrimmage rolled around on Aug. 18 pitting the Buckeye offense vs. the defense, Mitchell had progressed enough to earn a spot on the starting unit.
    Then he came up with the biggest play of the afternoon.
    With the entire scrimmage coming down to one play, the first-team offense lined up at the 3-yard line against the first-team defense. Troy Smith fired a dart to Ted Ginn Jr. on a slant across the middle, but Mitchell knocked the ball away, winning the scrimmage and allowing the defense to retain the coveted scarlet jerseys.
    He hasn?t looked back after that big moment, and as the oldest member of the secondary (he?ll turn 23 on Oct. 26), he has embraced a leadership role, even if the young guys around him call him ?Grandpa.?
    Before the Buckeyes faced Bowling Green, there was rampant talk among fans and media about OSU overlooking the Falcons, who entered as 35-point underdogs, but Mitchell could tell his young teammates why they should respect their opponent: He was one of a handful of Buckeyes with firsthand knowledge. The last time the Falcons visited Ohio Stadium, in 2003, was also the last time Mitchell started during his redshirt freshman season. It was a more-difficult-than-expected 24-17 OSU victory.
    ?I admittedly played a terrible game,? Mitchell said. ?You probably didn?t see me on film after that game the entire season, so those guys, they looked at the film and they know that it?s going to be a tough game. (We) can?t miss tackles. (We) have to be focused. In 2003, we probably weren?t as focused as we should be, so the game was close.?
    This was just another example of Mitchell using his knowledge to lead. His intellectual manner makes him popular with teammates, as well.
    ?Brandon is one of my favorite guys on the team because he ? in my opinion ? has lived the student-athlete experience as best you could possibly live it,? junior wide receiver Anthony Gonzalez said. ?He took care of his academics and he took care of his athletics, and on top of that he?s still a very good person. It?s encouraging to younger guys, I hope. I know it?s encouraging to me. He?s one of those people that when I think back on my favorite people that I played with, he?s one of them I?ll think of.?
    But before the regular season started, Mitchell downplayed his ballyhooed brainpower.
    ?I always tell people I?m not really smart, I just have a good memory,? Mitchell said. ?That helps me on the field because I?m able to remember things I saw on film. I?m able to remember certain adjustments we make for different coverages, and since I?m able to do that I can tell players around me, ?Well, you?re doing this wrong or you need to change this a little bit,? and that helps us as a team.?
    To his credit, Mitchell showed no signs of holding back knowledge, even as young pups such as Patterson and the highly touted Jamario O?Neal, another sophomore, battled him in the preseason for starting roles.
    ?I would feel bad if I didn?t take the knowledge that everyone who?s played in front of me has taught me and give that same thing to the young guys because I?m only here for a year,? Mitchell said. ?After I?m gone, these guys have to know everything and have to be the leaders that I hope they would consider me as.?
    Now his career is taking on a similar arc to that of his roommate from his true freshman year when the Buckeyes won the national championship. That player was former Ohio State safety and current Tampa Bay Buccaneer Will Allen, who also had to wait his turn behind a pair of NFL players.
    But after Mike Doss and Donnie Nickey moved on to the pros, Allen moved into the starting lineup as a senior and became an All-American in 2003. Allen also had two marquee plays during the 2002 national title campaign ? game-clinching interceptions against Cincinnati and Michigan.
    Now Mitchell is showing a similar knack for making the big play. In the Big Ten opener Sept. 23 against Penn State, Mitchell had the initial tip of a pass that was intercepted by James Laurinaitis and later punished Nittany Lions wide receiver Derrick Williams to break up a potential big pass play.
    His aforementioned interception against Iowa set up Ohio State?s second touchdown, one that put the Buckeyes ahead 14-3 and allowed them to take control of the game and keep the frenzied Hawkeye crowd out of it.
    That knack is nothing new. It?s just not been an act Mitchell was able to perform outside of practice.
    ?Since he's been here, he's been a guy that's been in position because he knows what to do and has a good feel for what the opponents are doing, and I've never had that question asked about Brandon, but as I think back through his five years here, yes, he's been a guy that you've seen make plays in practice,? Tressel said.
    As everyone knows, practice and the game are vastly different things, as Mitchell confirmed when asked if it is gratifying to finally be in the spotlight.
    ?Yes, it is,? he said. ?It?s hard when you?re not playing, and just to this year come in, it really makes me appreciate the coaches and preparing for the game just knowing that, ?OK, I?m going to give it my best shot. I?m going to give it my all because it?s my last year.?
    ?I had some early success and once you don?t have that success anymore, it really puts a fire in your belly and makes you want to get out there and think, ?Next time I?m on the field, I?m going to make sure I?m never coming off.? I really kind of took that approach, and I knew the next time I was able to get a chance to play, I would take advantage of it.?
    He estimated that he has about 20 hours left of graduate work toward a master?s in communications and he?s looking to finish that by next fall.
    But as the 6-3, 205-pounder continues to add to his collection of noteworthy plays, he might have the NFL to think of, as well.
    Either way, he has business to finish, on and off the field.
  2. osugrad21

    osugrad21 Capo Regime Staff Member


    Timeout with Ohio State fifth-year senior safety Brandon Mitchell

    By Doug Harris
    Staff Writer

    Saturday, October 28, 2006

    What are your impressions of Michigan so far?
    "They're an attacking defense. They get after the quarterback. They force a lot of turnovers. In the past couple years, they've always done that. But we're doing that this year, too, so those two things are kind of equal."
    What kind of pizza do you like best?
    "The meat-lovers special at Pizza Hut. Deep dish. Always."
    You have a political-science degree and are studying communications in graduate school. What do you want to be?
    "I still have aspirations of going to law school, but I'm thinking about being where you are ? do some sports reporting maybe at first. But ultimately, I want to go back and be a district attorney."
    What made you want to be a DA?
    "My grandfather was the chief of the fire department in Atlanta, and I've always wanted to serve the public. I have an uncle who's a police officer, but I'll be honest: I'm a scaredy-cat. I didn't want to be a policeman because I could get shot at, and that's just crazy. And to run into a burning building while everyone else is running out, that's not for me. I figured I'd take the safe route."
  3. BB73

    BB73 Loves Buckeye History Staff Member Bookie '16 & '17 Upset Contest Winner

    Brandon Mitchell, senior free safety

    On Illinois

    "Any time a team comes out to play us, they are going to give us a good game. Wisconsin was ranked pretty high when they played them and they gave them a good game. When you look at them on film, they do not look like a 2-7 team."

    On the weather conditions for the game at Illinois

    "Our guys are concerned about the wind and weather. In the 2002 game (vs. Illinois), it was the coldest game I've ever been to as a player. But it is still a Big Ten stadium and it will be a great environment."

    On the team approach for playing Illinois

    "When you look at film from the 2002 game, Illinois got a couple of deep balls on us. They were definitely challenging. This year, we must contain them. Coach has put a few wrinkles in the game plan, so hopefully it will help us."

    On their season so far

    "I feel like we've played against some really great offensive coordinators. Our defense doesn't play too differently every year, so we are trying to disguise our plan. This is key - especially when we will be playing against a young quarterback (at Illinois). We just have to keep up with the fundamentals, like making sound tackles and playing low - and we will be alright."

    On the defensive depth chart

    "Coach Heacock has done a great job of running guys through the line. We had to replace nine starters. We just put the young guys in and they are relishing in the moment when they get to go out and play."
  4. OSUBasketballJunkie

    OSUBasketballJunkie Never Forget 31-0


  5. OSUBasketballJunkie

    OSUBasketballJunkie Never Forget 31-0


  6. jwinslow

    jwinslow A MAN OF BETRAYED JUSTICE Staff Member Tourney Pick'em Champ

    OSU Picture Archive

    Ohio State's Brandon Mitchell (32) is lifted by teammate David Patterson (97) after returning an interception for a touchdown against Northwestern during college football action in Evanston, Ill. Saturday, Nov. 11, 2006. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)


    (AP pic below)

    Last edited: Mar 5, 2007
  7. BuckeyeLiger87

    BuckeyeLiger87 The more I see the less I know

  8. TexasBuck

    TexasBuck Fables of the Urban Reconstruction

    TEXANS NOTES: Updates on Brown, Jones, Bethel Johnson | - Houston Chronicle
    Catching up with Mitchell

    With the loss of Glenn Earl, Texans safety Brandon Mitchell will get more of an opportunity this week to showcase his skills. The undrafted rookie out of Ohio State has shown significant signs of progress in the past week. He finished Saturday's game with four tackles ? tied for fourth on the team.

    "He's getting better," coach Gary Kubiak said. "He did a few good things in the game the other night ? he and (Brandon) Harrison. They both did a couple of things on special teams. They have a long, long way to go. Their reps are definitely going to pick up, so we'll see."
    Buckskin86 likes this.
  9. TexasBuck

    TexasBuck Fables of the Urban Reconstruction

    INT by Mitchell late in the game tonight against the Cowboys. He was in on several plays and made the most of his limited time.
  10. Buckskin86

    Buckskin86 Moderator

  11. Buckskin86

    Buckskin86 Moderator

  12. Buckskin86

    Buckskin86 Moderator

    Texans not lacking safeties with Mitchell, Harrison | - Houston Chronicle
  13. Buckskin86

    Buckskin86 Moderator

    Texans enter training camp with heart set on winning | - Houston Chronicle
  14. TexasBuck

    TexasBuck Fables of the Urban Reconstruction

    Just heard on Houston AM sports-radio 610, Mitchell was released by the Texans today.
    Buckskin86 likes this.
  15. Buckskin86

    Buckskin86 Moderator

    TEXANS NOTES | Houston Texans Football | - Houston Chronicle

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