By Reagan Hoverman for Vikings.com
EAGAN, Minn. – Throughout his time playing sports, Dillion Mitchell has had success at every stop of his athletic career.
The rookie from the University of Oregon started his journey to the NFL in his home state of Tennessee at White Station High School. During his time at White Station, he played three sports: football, basketball and track and field. As a three-sport athlete, Mitchell gained skills that helped him develop his NFL-caliber talent.
“It helped a lot, especially track,” Mitchell said. “Getting out and working on running technique and becoming faster. In basketball, working on agility and being able to move side-to-side helped me a lot in football.”
Although Mitchell enjoyed success in all of his sports in high school, it was different on the football field. In his junior year at White Station in 2015, he was listed as a High School All-American by USA TODAY. Mitchell discussed the significance of having his talent recognized by a national outlet.
“I would say it meant the world to me. To receive an accolade, it says it all in itself,” Mitchell said. “I’ve seen other guys come through that are great players, and I just want to make my name as well, so it was great to be something like that.”
The accolades didn’t end there.
In his senior year of high school, he produced 81 catches for 1,484 yards, numbers that were impressive enough to earn himself another award; this time he was recognized as Tennessee’s Gatorade Football Player of the Year.
As a top-100 prospect on a national level, Mitchell could have gone to college at almost any school in the country. He decided to continue to live his dream and become a member of the Oregon Ducks for his true freshman year of 2016.
“Oregon meant the most to me. I grew up wanting to go to Oregon, so I did everything that I wanted to do as a kid and dreamed about,” Mitchell said.
His breakout season came in what would be his final year at Oregon – his junior year of 2018 – Mitchell set the school record for receiving yards in a season with 1,184 on 75 catches. He also received Second-Team All-Pac-12 honors. His production helped the Ducks secure a spot in the 2018 Redbox Bowl where they played and defeated the Michigan State Spartans 7-6.
Mitchell led the Ducks with six catches for 70 yards and caught the team’s only touchdown to earn game MVP honors.
The Vikings selected Mitchell in the seven round of the 2019 NFL Draft in April.
Here are three other topics that Mitchell covered with Vikings.com
1. If you could have dinner with any NBA or NFL player, who would it be?
“I would sit down with Tristian Thompson.”
2. What’s the backstory of you receiving mentorship from Penny Hardaway?
“So basically, I was super young when I met him, I was about in middle school. I had a basketball game, and him being from the city, he showed up to the game. It was a state [tournament] game. I had a lot of points, and I was like 5-foot-5, so he saw me after that. The next year I didn’t play on his team, but I played against him and had a lot of points again. Then he wanted me to be on his team, so that’s how our relationship got started.”
3. If you had to pick only one, what TV show or movie would you watch for the rest of your life?
“I would say that I’ll watch all the Rush Hour movies. I’ll just say that I will watch the first Rush Hour movie for the rest of my life.”