James Mitchell: Quiet, Small-Town Guy Embracing Big-Time Opportunities

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James Mitchell, Virginia Tech
James Mitchell will be one of Virginia Tech’s top targets and most experienced players in 2021. (Ivan Morozov)

James Mitchell always dreamt about playing Division I football.

Raised in the heart of Appalachia in Big Stone Gap, Va. by his parents, Jimmy and Marcia, Mitchell is as humble as they come. He’s naturally a quiet guy, which he says he gets from his mom, a former Division I basketball player at Brown.

So, when he received Power Five scholarship offers from Clemson and Ole Miss after his junior season at Union High School, it was a shock. While the goal to play D-I remained in the back of his mind, he hadn’t given it a second thought – until then.

“I always knew I wanted to play. Growing up, I always dreamt of playing D-I, but I never knew if I was going to get to that level,” Mitchell said. “I always worked to get there, and I was going to play where the best opportunity was. Junior year rolled around, basketball season came and I was getting offers from Clemson and Ole Miss, people like that, and it just really opened my eyes like, ‘wow, this is really happening.’”

He was a great all-around athlete in high school, excelling on the football field, where he was named the 2017 VHSL 2A Offensive Player of the Year, and on the basketball