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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

“Mitchell wins on, off field”

Michael Ignatov / Arizona Daily Wildcat

University of Arizona meets Washington State University in an NCAA football game in Arizona Stadium, Tucson, Ariz., Nov. 7, 2009. Arizona up 34-0 at the half.
Michael Ignatov
Michael Ignatov / Arizona Daily Wildcat University of Arizona meets Washington State University in an NCAA football game in Arizona Stadium, Tucson, Ariz., Nov. 7, 2009. Arizona up 34-0 at the half.

For a player who started his collegiate football career on offense, Earl Mitchell has made an impressive name for himself on the other side of the ball.

This season marks his second year as a starter on Arizona’s D-line and the defensive co-captain’s effort is paying off in a big way. Earlier this week, Mitchell accepted an invitation to play in the East-West Shrine Game — an all-star game that will take place on Jan. 23 in Orlando, Fla.

“”Oh man, it’s probably the most important thing for me right now. I’m going to experience a lot of things next year and just being a part of the East-West Shrine Game is a big deal for me,”” Mitchell said, “”to be able to do some things a couple of my past favorite players — Spencer Larcen and Mike (Thomas) — got to do. So hopefully it helps me progress as a player at the East-West Shrine Game by playing some D-line there.””

By playing in the 85th installment of the college all-star game, Mitchell — a 6-foot-2, 295-pound senior — will practice in front of NFL coaches and scouts in the days leading up to the game. While that would be beneficial to any player, it’s even more important for Mitchell because he didn’t start his collegiate career as a defensive tackle.

“”Any chance you get to be in an all-star game, the visibility you create for yourself is huge,”” said UA defensive tackle coach

Mike Tuiasosopo.

And that isn’t the only honor Mitchell earned during the week. He also won the National Academic Momentum Award, an award given out by the Scholar-Baller Program in conjunction with the National Consortium for Academics and Sports. Mitchell — the West Region’s award winner — was one of 22 male and female student-athletes from 10 different regions selected for the honor.

“”I’m really proud of him because Earl has come a long way in terms of excelling in the classroom,”” Tuiasosopo said. “”One of the things I really like about Earl is that he’s humble, and he works hard at everything that he does.

“”That shows on the field as well, so he deserves it and I’m really proud of him,”” he added. “”We could use some more guys on that list.””

—Brian Kimball

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