Austin Mitchell: The man, the myth, the receiver from Plaquemine


Dylan Meche /The Lion's Roar

Senior wide receiver Austin Mitchell lines up for a snap against McNeese State University on March 6. The Lions defeated McNeese 25-20 with Mitchell having 3 receptions for 18 yards. The Lions will take on Nicholls State University on Apr. 10.

Plaquemine, a small community nestled along a bend in the Mississippi River, is where it all started for senior wide receiver Austin Mitchell. 

At just five years old, Mitchell was throwing and catching footballs, unaware he would become a standout player for the university’s football team.

In his hometown, Mitchell was known to be the real deal. He explained that Plaquemine is incredibly different from Hammond. 

He said, “Hammond is really a different scenery for me because Plaquemine is a small town–– not too many places we can go to out there. Here, it’s more open.”

Growing up, being a receiver was his dream. He described the responsibilities of the position.

“We basically go out and catch passes. Sometimes we’ve got to block. It’s really just about getting that route and making sure you catch the ball before you take off,” he said. 

When he was in high school, he played just about any position, but being a receiver always stayed close to his heart.

He commented, “When I was in high school, I played everything: quarterback, receiver, DB, but I like receiving more because I get the ball a lot more.”

Mitchell said a football running back inspired him during his childhood. 

“I have played football all my life. I just like Reggie Bush and looking up to him when I was younger, so he made me want to play football even more,” he said. 

Being a senior, Mitchell has played a lot of games, but his favorite is from freshman year. 

He said, “I’d say my favorite game was freshman year, at the UIW game. I scored three touchdowns and 0-4 catches.” 

Receiver Coach Giovanni Vizza shared his first impression and experience with Mitchell. He said Mitchell is the most positive person he has ever met as he consistently cheers everyone up.

“He’s always got a smile on his face. He’s always making other people around him smile. He’s just a joy to be around – that was my first impression,” he said. 

Vizza said he anticipated that Mitchell would do well after meeting and getting to know him.

He said, “I’ve only been here for a year, so when I finally first met him, he had already had a ton of success before me. I knew he was a good player, and I knew he’d have a ton of success just based upon his work ethic.”

According to Vizza, Mitchell has greatly affected the team in a positive way.

“From his work ethic and from leading by example, he does all the right things, and from a vocal standpoint too, he speaks up and says the things that need to be said,” he noted.