MUNFORD -- Munford’s Pernell Mitchell on Wednesday signed a letter-of-intent to play football at Tuskegee.
Mitchell had an offer from Grambling, but he knew where he belonged after taking an official visit to Tuskegee.
“I really wanted to attend an HBCU (Historically Black Colleges and Universities),” Mitchell said. “I was trying to choose between them and Grambling State.
“I went down there (to Tuskegee) … after that, I knew I had to commit.
“The coaching staff welcomed me, they gave me everything that I needed. They gave me a very good scholarship. They made me feel good and they made me feel like I was at home.”
Mitchell, a 6-foot, 232-pound honorable-mention all-state linebacker in Class 5A, recorded 117 tackles, including 24.5 for a loss in 2018. He had five quarterback sacks and 15 hurries, and forced five fumbles in 10 games. He also rushed for 429 yards and three touchdowns.
Munford head coach Bill Smith said he was extremely proud of Mitchell.
“(Tuskegee Head) Coach (Willie) Slater got a good one in him,” Smith said. “They may also use him at fullback. Coach Slater is one of the coaches that still uses a fullback.”
The recruiting process was stressful for the Munford standout.
Mitchell didn’t have an offer until January. He earned the nickname “the Hitman” for his big hits on the field, but he had to hit the books as hard as he hit opposing running backs to make this opportunity possible.
“I slacked a lot my 11th-grade year, so I had to mature fast, buckle my seat belt and get serious,” Mitchell said. “I had to … start focusing and make sure that I got all my school work done.
“It was at one point where I wanted to give up because my grades weren’t looking good and the team record wasn’t looking good. Everything was going downhill.
“I stayed prayed up and continued to work, and good things came out of it at the end.”
Mitchell plans to major in sports management. He will play linebacker for the Golden Tigers in the fall.
“They can expect a dog,” Mitchell said. “I am coming down there focused. I am going to get in my books and get a good degree. I plan on helping the football team any way that I can.”
Mitchell said he is grateful for everyone that played a role in making this opportunity possible.
“I would like to thank my coaches, my trainer, my mom and my family,” he said.
Even though Mitchell is officially a Golden Tiger, he is heading to the next level with a chip on his shoulder.
“I am glad I have this offer, but I still feel that I have something to prove,” he said. “I plan on going down there and making a name for myself.”