Elijah Mitchell: 5 things to know about the Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns football running back
If there's one thing Louisiana football running back Elijah Mitchell is ready for, it's this season. He's ready to play and he's ready to prepare for the possibility of being selected in the 2021 NFL Draft.
In 2019, Mitchell became the sixth Ragin' Cajun to rush for more than 1,000 yards in a season. He also helped boost Louisiana to an 11-3 overall record.
But that's in the past.
“We did some great things last year,” Mitchell said in August. “But it (doesn’t) matter how great you did last year. That’s in the past. Nobody’s talking about that anymore. So this year we’ve just got to reach a higher standard than we did last year.”
Here is some basic info about Mitchell:
- Height: 5 feet, 11 inches
- Weight: 218 pounds
- Class: Senior
- Age: 22 years old (Birthday: May 2, 1998)
- Hometown: Erath, Louisiana
- High School:Erath High School
Here are five more things to know about Elijah Mitchell.
Elijah Mitchell 2019 stats
In 2019, Elijah Mitchell appeared in all 14 games and made three starts. He helped the Ragin' Cajuns go 11-3 overall and 7-2 in the Sun Belt Conference.
The running back led the team with 1,147 rushing yards and 16 rushing touchdowns in 2019. It bumped his career totals to 2,389 rushing yards and 33 touchdowns.
His 1,147 rushing yards ranked fourth in the Sun Belt, and his 16 touchdowns were second in the conference and 11th in the Football Bowl Subdivision. He earned 2019 All-Sun Belt Conference Second Team honors.
Mitchell's rushing contribution helped the team break the school record for total rushing yards (3,604) and total rushing touchdowns (42).
Elijah Mitchell earned 2020 preseason honors
After a big year in 2019, Elijah Mitchell earned several accolades entering the 2020 season.
Mitchell received the following honors entering the 2020 season:
- Preseason All-Sun Belt Conference first team
- Reese's Senior Bowl Top 250
- Doak Walker Award Preseason Watch List
This is the second consecutive year that Mitchell was named to the Doak Walker Award Preseason Watch List.
Elijah Mitchell scored 3 touchdowns vs. Ohio
Elijah Mitchell had a monster day vs. the Ohio Bobcats on Sept. 21, 2019. He rushed 17 times for 143 yards and three touchdowns, leading the Ragin' Cajuns to its third straight win of the season.
Louisiana beat Ohio 45-25.
Mitchell scored his touchdowns in the first quarter, third quarter and fourth quarter. All three touchdowns came on 2-yard runs.
His performance earned him Sun Belt Offensive Player of the Week honors.
Elijah Mitchell expressed love for his mom in Mother's Day video
While Mitchell was growing up, he was the little brother who always wanted to fight his big brothers, his mother Penny said in a Mother's Day video in May 2019.
He has four brothers — Jeremiah, Davonte, Claude and Marquis — who are no strangers to the sports world. Jeremiah played football and basketball while Davonte ran track and played basketball.
"Elijah was a handful, yes he was," Penny said. "Elijah, he was the littlest. He was always wanting to fight his big brothers. So they was like, 'Mama, can you get Elijah? Elijah, can you stop?'"
Mitchell's energy at home translated onto the field — Penny said she knew he was always going to be a "real active kid." Penny was an active mother, too.
She went to every one of Mitchell's high school football games and was the mom who would be "jumping up in the air" and the "loudest one at the game," she said.
"Oh, my God, in high school, yes, I could hear her in the stands," Mitchell said. "Like after we would score or something, oh my gosh, she would be just jumping up and yelling, embarrassing me. But, you gotta love your mom."
'I want to be next': Elijah Mitchell is ready for 2021 NFL Draft
It's possible Elijah Mitchell is the next in line from the Ragin' Cajuns taken in the NFL Draft. The website WalterFootball.com ranks Mitchell as the No. 15 running back in the 2021 NFL Draft.
He'd follow the former UL standouts Raymond Calais Jr., Robert Hunt and Kevin Dotson that were taken in the 2020 NFL Draft.
“We (have) something really special in the room. With Raymond, he just really set the tone for us … being drafted. So, the sky’s the limit for us," Mitchell said in August. “Seeing Raymond and the rest of our guys get drafted — it’s like, ‘I want to be next,’ you know what I’m saying?"
UL football head coach Billy Napier agrees Mitchell — and his teammate Trey Ragas — have what it takes.
“Both Louisiana kids, and certainly (they) have the tools to be players that can play at the next level,” he said. “I don’t think there’s any question about that. I think the (draft) grades we got back after … last year would certainly point in that direction.”
Read more Elijah Mitchell, Ragin' Cajuns news
- Ragin' Cajuns happy to play now, not wait until the spring
- Dynamic duo: UL's Trey Ragas, Elijah Mitchell NFL Draft material
- National college football magazines high on UL, Mitchell
- UL back Mitchell on NFL Draft: 'I feel like I can do more'
Here is a link to the Elijah Mitchell bio on the Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns website.
Daniella Medina is a digital producer for the USA TODAY Network. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @danimedinanews.