Nov. 10, 2009
ORLANDO, Fla.--Arizona senior defensive tackle Earl Mitchell has been named a winner of the National Academic Momentum Award.
Mitchell, 22, an interdisciplinary studies major from Houston, was named the male Western region honoree among 22 female and male student-athletes from 10 regions picked for the award.
The award is administered by the Scholar-Baller Program in conjunction with the National Consortium for Academics and Sports (NCAS).
"Earl came from a tough high school situation and struggled academically, fighting for eligibility his first year," said Mike Meade, UA's director of C.A.T.S. Academic Services. "Now he's become a role model for many of our young student-athletes," he said.
Marisol Quiroz, who has worked with Mitchell through the Directed Studies program provided by C.A.T.S. Academics, said "Earl is an amazing young man. The work he has put in to achieve in school has been phenomenal. What that means for him, and the teammates who see what focus can mean, is special."
Mitchell played at UA as a true freshman tight end in 2006 out of Houston North Shore, and then switched to defensive tackle for his junior year a season ago. He has developed into one of the Cats' top interior weapons up front. He is a team co-captain.
Mitchell was selected to play in the 2010 East-West Shrine Game here in late January. The 6-foot-2, 290-pound tackle has been evaluated by nearly all of the NFL scouts who have attended Arizona games this year.