Brandon Mitchell came to Arkansas with the dream of being the starting quarterback. Four years later, the Louisiana native leaves trying to realize that same dream.
Mitchell did start three games at Arkansas at wide receiver during that highly dysfunctional 2012 season. That was the Brandon Mitchell his teammates loved - a guy who was willing do whatever he had to do to help the team (football OR basketball).
Do you remember Brandon Mitchell the basketball player? He played in 10 games during the 2011-2012 season. That's where most fans first noticed his freakish athletic ability. A big body with serious hops. His best performance as a Razorback came during that season against South Carolina. Brandon came off the bench and registered career high 8 points and 4 rebounds in 16 minutes of court time.
Mitchell was looking at spending a third season as a backup quarterback or a second season at another position. Coach Bielema made it clear that he was going to try to find a way to get the senior on the field. When talking about Mitchell, Coach B raved about his leadership. He said Brandon was a tremendous competitor who could be what coach called a "contributor" on this 2013 team.
I applaud Coach Bielema for the way he handled the situation. Following a spring game where both Brandons put up good numbers, Coach B could have said the QB race was too close to call. He could have gone into the fall with a 1A and 1B at quarterback, but that's not the way Coach B operates. The post-spring depth chart had Allen listed with the first team and Mitchell with the second team.
His honesty may have cost him a contributor.
As a former Razorback star, Clint Stoerner pointed out college football has become a big business and Mitchell, after looking at his options, made what Clint called a wise business decision.
Brandon Mitchell wants to be a starting college quarterback and with one season left, he didn't view starting fall workouts as a backup quarterback/wide receiver (or some other position) as his best option.
You won't hear any of his former teammates, coaches or anyone in the Arkansas media say anything bad about Brandon Mitchell and you won't hear Brandon say anything bad about Arkansas. He was a good Razorback - on the field, in the locker room, in the classroom and in the community. He represented the university well for three years.
I hate to see Brandon Mitchell leave but wish him well as he continues to pursue his dream of being a starting college quarterback.