Beaver Nation Meet Lance Mitchell
April 2, 2009
After redshirting his freshman season, Lance Mitchell has proved to the coaching staff he is a valuable asset on special teams with 11 tackles last season. He now sees his hard work paying off as he will be competing for a starting position this year in the secondary.
Football has come easy for this likeable native of Pasadena, Calif., but things were more difficult for him off the field as friends chose the life of violence and gangs. Mitchell, however, decided to stick with sports and to make something of his life.
What was it like growing up in Pasadena?
It had its good days and bad days like any other city or town. There were two ways I could go when I was younger, I had friends that weren’t doing too much, they were just hanging out, gang banging and getting into a lot of trouble. Then I had my friends that were playing sports and trying to get out of there, so I chose to play sports when I was growing up. Even when you have friends that are doing that stuff, you have to be able to separate yourself, so I chose to play sports and that got me here to Oregon State.
Has getting a scholarship to Oregon State helped change your life?
It’s probably one of the biggest things that ever happened to me. It has always been a goal for me to play football professionally and collegiately because you have to go through college to get to the pros. It was the biggest stepping stone and it has changed my life tremendously.
What are you looking forward to this season?
To being able to contribute and to play on our fast and explosive defense. Just to be a part of that to help us win and to do whatever I can.
Growing up I played all sports; track, basketball and football. I played basketball all through high school and my ultimate goal was to get out and go to college for free, it just ended up that football gave me that opportunity and basketball wasn’t as good of a opportunity, so it kind of chose itself.
What is a talent you would most like to have?
To be able to sing. I can’t sing for anything right now. I wish I could be in one of those boy groups because they don’t have to work as hard and they get all the girls and money and all that. It seems like it’s fun. You don’t have to do all of the conditioning and six o’clock workouts and all that other stuff.
If you could meet any one person, who would it be?
Jesus when he was on Earth back in biblical times. I want to see what he was like. I would like to meet Deion Sanders too because in a football sense, he is one of the best defensive backs/cornerback, to ever play the game. He was one of the best cover guys in football so I would like to see what he has to share with me and to tell me to make me better.
What is it like playing for Coach Riley?
Coach Riley is like a dad. I can go to him when I have a problem and he is helpful, really helpful. He is easy to talk to and easy to come to with anything you have going on. I don’t really deal with him too much on the field, so he is just someone that looks to me and makes sure that I am doing alright in life and making sure I am getting better and learning how to be a man overall. It’s good playing for Coach Riley.
What was life like living with four siblings?
I have three sisters and I have a brother that passed away in ’05, so growing up it was crazy. It was kind of us versus them. On my mom’s side I had two sisters, an older sister and a younger sister. For the early ages of my life I stayed with my mom and I was kind of the man of the house because it was just my mom and my two sisters, so I was the mediator because they were always going at it, you know how girls are. I was in the middle of it, but I kind of tried to stay out of the way a little bit. I tried to take care of them and do what I could.
Who is going to win the Super Bowl in 2010?
I have to say my Cowboys because that’s my team, but if they don’t pick up some key players that we need, I’m going to have to say whatever team my boy Keenan Lewis goes to in the draft. Keenan, our cornerback from last year, will hopefully get picked up sooner rather than later in the draft and goes to a good team so he can experience that and then tell me all about it.
What should Beaver Nation look forward to this upcoming season?
Look forward to everything they were getting in past years that Coach Riley and our coaching staff have done already, and more. I think we are growing as a team and we are going to do something special. They should look forward to great things in the future.
What Pac-10 team do you enjoy playing the most?
USC. Its home and growing up I was a USC fan. It’s kind of a sour feeling when you don’t get offered a scholarship by your home team and your hometown, so you always want to beat them and have those bragging rights. I love playing against them. It’s gonna be fun contributing a lot more this year and playing against them.
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