That’s welcome news to FAU quarterbacks looking to spark an inconsistent passing attack.
“He’s tall and fast – he’s one of the fastest guys on the team and being that tall he has good ball skills,” starting quarterback Chris Robison said. “It’s easy to throw him the ball. You put it in the air and he’s going to catch it.”
A 6-foot-4, 215-pound redshirt sophomore, Mitchell missed all of last season after suffering a back injury during 2017 fall camp that required surgery.
As injuries struck the FAU wide receiver’s unit during this year’s fall champ, Mitchell managed to climb the depth chart and at one point claimed a starting roll until he, too, found himself sidelined.
An undisclosed injury aggravated the previous back injury, relegating Mitchell to the bench.
“That’s football,” Mitchell said. “Everybody knows it’s a rough sport. It’s a barbaric sport. But I’m ready to bounce back.”
Mitchell says he physically could have played in the season-opener at Oklahoma.
“As a collective unit we thought that maybe if I got more strength, more healthy, that I’d be back ready for more important games in the conference,” Mitchell said. “I did exactly that.”
Mitchell doesn’t have a catch yet this season, but he did enter Saturday’s loss at MTSU for one play.
“I was there if the needed me,” Mitchell said.
Saturday, when Old Dominion comes to Howard Schnellenberger Field, Mitchell expects to play larger role.
“Yes,” Mitchell said. “Possibly. Probably. Hopefully.”
Mitchell finished 2016, his freshman season, strong, catching six passes one the year for 62 yards, including a 33-yard touchdown against Rice.
Aside from those impressive first few weeks of camp back in the fall, he remains largely an unknown to coach Lane Kiffin and his staff.
“We haven’t seen very much of it because he’s not been healthy a lot,” Kiffin said of Mitchell’s skill set. “The little bit that we have seen is that he’s tall and strong, and can go up and get the ball.”
Since receiving clearance to resume practice, Mitchell spent much of his time with the second string, working with quarterback Rafe Peavey.
“His first day back was unreal,” Peavey said.
This week Mitchell and Robison have looked to build their chemistry in hopes of forming an effective combination on Saturday.
“Now that he’s getting back, getting right, getting his confidence back up, everything, it looks like it’s going good for our chemistry as well as the offense,” Robison said.