March 17, 2010

Mitchell moving into leadership role

Heading into just his junior season, Charles Mitchell is already the old man in the secondary.

The 5-foot-11, 205-pounder has played in every game of his Mississippi State career and started each Saturday for the Bulldogs last fall. Mitchell understands that his responsibility is to pass along his game day knowledge to the underclassmen.

"I'm trying to become a leader," Mitchell said. "Last year I tried but this year I'm going to try again. It's fun out there having the guys look up to me. I still look up to them too. We count on one another."

Mitchell could get some help with his leadership role if senior Zach Smith can return this spring after a series of concussions forced him to sit out the final seven games of the season.

"Zach is a tough guy," Mitchell said. "A lot of people wouldn't come back with the injury that he sustained. I've got a lot of respect for him and nothing but love for him. He's like my brother and I feel like he's going to come in and do a good job."

Mitchell racked up 64 tackles (39 solo, 25 assists) last season. He picked off four passes, two of which he returned for touchdowns. He also had 1.5 tackles for loss, two quarterback hurries, two pass breakups and one forced fumble.

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