Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Speedy Kick Returner Reflects on Career

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Senior wide receiver Kenny Mitchell

With one game left in their season, it is a sprint to the finish for the Hoyas – and that kind of race is Kenny Mitchell’s specialty.

The senior slotback/wide receiver wreaks havoc on the football field with quick moves and rare speed, especially as a kick returner, so it is no surprise that Mitchell is also a star of the Georgetown track and field team.

“I’ve always been a football player, and track kind of came as a result of that,” Mitchell said. “Track is an individual sport, and that helped me to see other guys who play football run track too – you kind of get to see the competition and get a boost of confidence about how fast you are.”

In addition to being Georgetown’s all-time leading kick returner, the Atlanta native holds the school record in the indoor 60-meter dash and the 4 x 200m relay as well as the outdoor 100-meter dash. In high school, he also played baseball and basketball, so Mitchell’s athleticism is evident.

“I played baseball and football since I was little,” he said. “Then I started running track in high school. I’ve just been playing sports since I was 3 years old, so I guess you could say it comes naturally.”

Fresh off of a gritty 13-12 victory in their home finale – a win that snapped a seven-game losing streak – the Hoyas (2-7, 0-4 Patriot League) have one more road hurdle on their slate when they take the long bus ride up to the Bronx, N.Y., to play Fordham University (4-5, 0-4).

With an average of nearly 104 yards per game, the super-athletic Mitchell is by far the team’s leader in all-purpose yards. He is no stranger to that statistical category, as he was second on the team in 2005 and 2007 and first in 2006. The 5-foot-11, 181-pound speedster is also tied for the team lead in scoring – along with sophomore quarterback Keerome Lawrence, he has scored three touchdowns, which is good for 18 points.

Though it seems like Mitchell has been back deep returning kicks for the Hoyas forever, his career is indeed coming to an end tomorrow in New York City, along with the careers of his 13 classmates.

“It’s emotional,” Mitchell said. “It’s special and I’ll try to cherish everything about it and take everything as it comes. It really hasn’t hit me yet; it’s one of those things you think will never come. I’m sure it’ll be something I’ll look back on in five years and say, `Wow, that was an awesome game.’ But we’re just looking to go up to Fordham and get a win.”

When it comes to the future of Georgetown football, Mitchell remembers when he and his classmates were the young Hoyas on the team. Now, he is one of the few seniors on a squad filled with underclassmen. Aside from the on-field instructions and advice that these young players receive every day from their coaches, Mitchell understands that there is more to being a student-athlete on the Hilltop.

“I try and tell [the young players] to settle down and just play football like you know how and how you’ve been doing since you were little,” Mitchell said. “I like to emphasize the off-the-field stuff to them because some guys struggle with the academic aspect – I try to help those guys with their studies and just support them. Football is football, and they just need to stay relaxed and balance everything.”

As the Georgetown football program plays its final game with one of its fastest players ever, it can only hope that the progress of its young players continues next season at a Mitchell-like pace.

Hoya Notes:

– Fordham has embodied the definition of an up-and-down team this season. None of their four wins have come consecutively. After winning their first game of the season, the Rams have alternated losses and wins all year long. If that pattern continues, then Fordham is due for a victory tomorrow.

– Senior defensive end Nick Umar, who was featured last week by THE HOYA, sealed the Hoyas’ second win of the season with a late interception against Marist.

– Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. tomorrow on the campus of Fordham University.

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