On his back, Terrance Mitchell has a tattoo of the cartoon character "Underdog." The image represents the mentality Mitchell says fueled his rise from three-star prospect out of high school, to freshman starter at Oregon, to honorable mention all-Pac-12 status as a sophomore. It will fuel him now, too, as Mitchell prepares for the 2014 NFL draft, having opted to pass up his final season of eligibility with the Ducks.Mitchell, a junior from Sacramento, Calif., knows he's less heralded than some other members of his draft class. That's just another challenge the "Underdog" intends to overcome. "Growing up always being under the radar, coming to Oregon as a three-star and then showing what I can do, that's what my whole life has been," Mitchell said Thursday evening. "I'm prepared for that. All I know is, when I sit down in front of the scouts, at the combine and what not, they're going to see."Mitchell arrived in Eugene from Sacramento, Calif., in the spring of 2010, redshirted that fall and proceeded to start 38 of 40 games over the next three seasons. He led the Ducks with five interceptions and 12 passes defended in 2013, giving him seven career interceptions and 32 passes defended. "I had a great four years there," Mitchell said. "I just want to further my career at the next level, which is a dream of mine.
One of four 13-game starters on defense is a top cover corner in the Pac-12 ... Numbers slightly dipped as a sophomore as opponents hesitated to test his side of the field . . . Ranked third on the team in passes defensed (8) and ninth in tackles (40) to earn Pac-12 honorable mention plaudits ... Credited with personal-best eight tackles vs. both USC (four unassisted) and Stanford in addition to breaking up one pass in each . . . Posted five unassisted stops in win vs. Kansas State in the Fiesta Bowl and claimed a trio of tackles in victories over Fresno State, Washington and Oregon State ... Encountered his best success defending the pass with two breakups against both the Bulldogs and Washington State . . . Made two solo tackles and had one pass breakup in season-opening triumph vs. Arkansas State . . . Tested among program's fastest defensive backs during off-season workouts, posting a 4.77 electronic 40-yard clocking.
Appeared in 14 games, starting 12 ... Team-high 10 pass breakups ... Ranked third among defensive backs with 45 tackles ... Recorded five tackles, including four solo and forced a fumble in win over Wisconsin in the Rose Bowl ... Had one interception, one breakup and four tackles in win over UCLA in the Pac-12 Championship Game ... One breakup and five tackles in win vs. Oregon State ... Made five tackles in loss vs. USC ... Recorded two tackles and one pass breakup in victory at Stanford ... Had three solo tackles, one forced fumble, which he recovered for a 9-yard gain in win at Washington ... Career-long interception return of 36 yards to go along with four tackles, including one TFL for a 1-yard loss in win vs. Washington State ... Also had one pass breakup vs. the Cougars, which was his fourth consecutive game with a breakup ... One solo stop and two pass breakups in win vs. Arizona State ... Had five tackles and one pass breakup in victory vs. Cal ... Recorded one solo tackle for a 4-yard loss and two pass breakups in win at Arizona ... Made two tackles vs. Missouri State ... First career kickoff return for 24 yards and also had five tackles, including four solo tackles and 1.0 TFL for a 2-yard loss vs. Nevada ... Also forced one fumble and had one pass breakup vs. the Wolf Pack ... Had three stops in loss against LSU ... Cleared 33.5 inches in the vertical leap ranking second among his position. Finished third in both the electronic 20-yard dash (2.82 seconds) and the shuttle (3.99 seconds) ... Had a team-high five solo tackles, one for loss, and one interception for the victorious Green Team in the spring game.
In line to battle for a starting spot as a true freshman after a stellar spring... Returned an interception 46 yards for a touchdown and made five tackles for the victorious White team in the Spring Game... Enrolled early in order to participate in spring practice.
Played for head coach John Heffernan at Burbank High School of the Metropolitan League (Sac-Joaquin Section, North 1 Division)... Earned Metro League Offensive MVP honors in 2009... First-team All-City cornerback... CalHiSports.com All-State Football first team at defensive back... First-team All-Metro cornerback in 2008... 2008 Sacramento Bee All-Metro honorable mention... Had 2,360 all-purpose yards on 106 rushing attempts and 48 catches in his senior season... Scored 24 touchdowns while on offense... On defense, had six interceptions, a forced fumble and one blocked field goal... As a junior in 2008, had 38 tackles, two interceptions for touchdowns, a forced fumble and 10 pass breakups... Also played basketball where he was first-team All-Metro League as a sophomore and junior... Rated a three-star recruit and No. 31 cornerback in the nation by Scout.com... A three-star prospect and No. 33 cornerback in the country according to Rivals.com... A three-star and No. 51 corner by ESPN.com.
Born Terrance Mitchell II in Sacramento, Calif. Parents: Terrance and Kepta Mitchell. Family: One sister. High School (Coach): Luther Burbank (John Heffernan) 2010.