TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — In the lobby of a hotel in Tallahassee, John Mitchell walked into a room full of his closest family and friends and shared that he had signed an undrafted free agent deal with the Seattle Seahawks.
“It’s honestly surreal. It’s so much so almost a dream that it didn’t really hit me all at once," Mitchell told ABC 27.
“There were people there who weren’t even part of our group. And once he said it everyone cheered," says his mother Cheryl Truesdell Mitchell.
They cheered because one of their own was about to get a shot only 1.6% of all college football players get. And from his time tearing up the field at Chiles High School. To doing the same as a Florida Atlantic Owl. John has had to work for everything he’s accomplished.
“You’re talking about a kid who had zero scholarship offers going into summer of his senior year. I think it gives kids hope that if I work hard and do the right thing I can accomplish those highest of goals that John has accomplished," says his high school football coach Garrett Jahn.
John’s path to the NFL was shaped by more than his athletic abilities. His dedication in the classroom and upbringing by his parents proved to be vital later in his life. When injuries and adversity reared its ugly head.
“If you don’t have a core set of principles to fall back on when you’re faced with adversity. It’s going to be tough to get through that adversity," said John. "My mom is an educator, my dad was an educator. And watching them do what they did, it’s just what you knew.”
“We stressed involvement and doing well academically. So I say it’s the discipline that it takes to be an athlete and student who is majoring in a science and STEM field," his mother added. "It worked out that he knew what he had to do.”
After what we hope is a long prosperous career in the NFL, John will finish up his masters degree and pursue medical school with the goal of one day being a surgeon.