Welcome to the 2020 FCS Jersey Countdown.
Throughout the May-August months, HERO Sports is going to name the best returning FCS player by jersey number, 99-1. Due to rosters being updated at different times for teams across the country and to keep things consistent, jersey numbers are based on the 2019 season.
*Note: Jersey numbers are based on 2019 rosters.
53: Blake Mitchell, OL (Sr.) — Austin Peay
Mitchell’s arrival played a key part in Austin Peay’s historic 2019 season that saw the Governors reach the FCS quarterfinals as an unseeded team.
He began his collegiate career as a walk-on at Mississippi State, where his father Mickey played as an offensive lineman. In his final year with the Bulldogs in 2018, Mark Hudspeth was the team’s associate head coach. After that season, Mitchell entered the transfer portal and Hudspeth was named the new head coach at Austin Peay.
It was the perfect fit for Mitchell, who is a Tennessee native.
He came in and became a leader on the offensive line, starting all 14 games. Mitchell played mostly center, but showed his versatility by sliding to guard at times. The 6-foot-1, 289-pounder earned First Team All-OVC honors as the Govs averaged 34.5 points per game while allowing just one sack per game.
Mitchell enters his senior year as a preseason HERO Sports Third Team All-American.
“My teammates would say my best quality is my leadership,” Mitchell told NFL Draft Diamonds. “I am someone that leads by example through having a high GPA, being accountable in the weight room and on the field, and being someone that leads by example and takes pride in the success of the team.”