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Mitchell earns way back on gridiron at Mercer

Mercer RB Tee Mitchell talks about rejoining the team in 2017. /(Luke Hetrick, WGXA)

MACON, GA -- After a breakout sophomore campaign in 2015, highlighted by an academic All-American selection, a violation of team rules forced running back Tee Mitchell off of the roster for the 2016 season.

After a year away from the team, Mitchell has worked his way back on the squad. As camp rolls on at Five Star Stadium, the junior joins the backfield competition with plenty of upside.

"You can put Tee Mitchell in the mix," said Head Coach Bobby Lamb. "He's gained a lot of weight. It's good weight and he can still run. We got a stable of running backs that we're happy about and obviously it's about keeping them healthy and keeping them fresh. We got to come up with a real good plan for that."

After nearly eclipsing the 1,000-mark as a sophomore, Mitchell's spotlight dimmed last season as Alex Lakes carried the load in the backfield in his absence. The Florida-native returns to the backfield motivated by hardware and thankful for the opportunity to play again.

"They (teammates) were giving me phone calls like 'Tee man this is the year,'" Mitchell said. "That made me more motivated than I've ever been. I worked extremely hard while I was away. Put on some weight, came back and trying to win a championship."

Mitchell is expected to split carries this season with Lakes and transfer CJ Leggett. Mercer opens the season August 31 at home against Jacksonville University.

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