Football: Cedar Creek's Mitchell chooses Arkansas

Damon Mitchell remembers one of his first meetings with Cedar Creek football coach Tim Watson.

"He said, 'Do you want to play quarterback,'" Mitchell recalled on Wednesday, after signing his national letter of intent to the University of Arkansas. "I had never played quarterback in my life.

"He took out this magazine and showed me this guy on the cover and said, 'I want you to be this guy.'"

Mitchell's desire to reach his potential as quarterback might be the No. 1 reason he signed with Arkansas. It definitely was the No. 1 reason he backed away from his July commitment to Georgia Tech.

"He just couldn't get around that (triple option) offense," Watson said of Georgia Tech's system.

Mitchell ran for 1,025 yards and 21 touchdowns and passed for 2,027 yards and 22 touchdowns last season as Cedar Creek went 10-2 and reached the SJ Group 2 title game.

He said he seriously considered Rutgers as well as Georgia Tech. He also made a visit to Wisconsin in the fall, when Bret Bielema was the Badgers' coach.

When Bielema was hired at Arkansas in December, the Razorbacks began recruiting Mitchell as a quarterback.

Mitchell said Bielema and his entire offensive staff visited Mitchell's home in January.

"That convinced me they wanted me as a quarterback," Mitchell said.

He's intrigued about playing in the SEC West with Alabama and LSU.

"It's the top conference in college football," Mitchell said. "I feelt like putting on a T-shirt and short now and working out so I'll be ready."

Watson believes the 6-3, 205-pound Mitchell is entering college football at the perfect time for mobile quarterbacks given the success at the NFL level of players such as Robert Griffin III, Colin Kaepernick and Russell Wilson.

Mitchell said he follows those quarterbacks as well.

"It gives me hope," Mitchell said.

-- Contact Phil Anastasia at or @PhilAnastasia on Twitter.