Athlete, Class of 2023
Southern Nash, Bailey, NC
On June 18, Virginia Tech redshirt freshman running back Chance Black drove to pick up Southern Nash (NC) three-star running back Tralon Mitchell at his hotel. It was the start to a full day of Mitchell’s official visit.
Mitchell said he clearly remembers that exchange. Black played the song ‘Where I Be,’ by Lucki and F1lthy and the two players immediately hit it off.
That exchange, and the ones Mitchell made later that day, played a big role in his commitment to the Hokies on July 2. Though he highly considered East Carolina and Appalachian State, Mitchell kept coming back to the relationships with Black and others.
“I would say the players really pulled me in,” Mitchell said. “The family environment is perfect. The coaches are solid, but anything can happen. The players will always be there. Hanging around my future teammates, it just felt so comfortable. It felt like home and I was already there. Virginia Tech is a great program for me to succeed, so I felt like it was really good.”
Mitchell was contacted just after the first of the year by Lino Lupinetti, Virginia Tech’s Assistant Director of Player Personnel. From the beginning, Mitchell said he felt important, that he was truthfully told how the staff felt about him, and how much the coaches wanted him.
“Lino hit me up two days before I got my first offer, from ECU,” Mitchell said. “He told me they watched my film and they wanted to get me there for spring practice. I went with my dad the first time, my brother and my cousin. That was the longest ride ever, but when I got there, they were welcoming. It was sunny and a perfect day, then five minutes later it snowed hard. But they put in that work, The grind never stops. I met some of the staff and met Coach (Stu) Holt and Coach (Brent) Pry that day.”
On that trip, Mitchell said he noted Pry’s demeanor and how the players and coaches fed off of him.
After that initial meeting with Holt and Pry and including on his official visit, Mitchell said he got to know Holt even better. Holt was also up-front about how he could make an impact in the Hokies’ offense.
“With my speed, I feel like he really likes that,” Mitchell said. “With their scheme, speed is a big factor. What I bring to the table, it’s something different, and I can improve that. My film, I can do it, but it’s not a lot of trucking. It’s just, get straight to it and I’m gone. When I get there, I’ll get even better. Coach Pry told me their track coach said I’m nowhere near my top speed, and that motivated me. When I get there, it’s over. I’m going to be the best I can be, and Coach Holt will get me there. They even came to my track meet. My speed is what won them over, but the potential they see is what kept them on me.”
Mitchell said he has aspirations to continue to run track at Virginia Tech. He wants to hold off until after his freshman season, however, to focus on the transition to...
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