Hanahan's star athlete Quincy Mitchell prepares for next adventure

Hanahan High School running back Quincy Mitchell will play in the Touchstone Energy North-South All-Star Football Game, which is slated for Dec. 9 in Myrtle Beach. Also on Mitchell’s to-do list is to matriculate to Ohio next summer to begin his college experience at the University of Cincinnati, which will also include competing in track and field for the Bearcats.

First up is football. Playing in the North-South Game wasn’t on the horizon for Mitchell, the latest in a long line of outstanding Hanahan athletes.

“That felt really good,” Mitchell said of being selected to play in the prestigious game. “I had a breakout year, worked hard and it paid off. I know it’s hard to make that game.”

Mitchell blossomed into one of the top running backs in the state this fall. The 5-10, 180-pounder, who has run a 4.37 in the 40-yard dash, rushed for more than 1,600 yards and scored 22 touchdowns.

Prior to the season, Hanahan coach Charlie Patterson felt Mitchell was primed for a breakout year.

“Quincy Mitchell has looked really good,” Patterson said in the late summer. “He’s always had good speed. But he finally looks like a football player, rather than a track guy playing football.”

Mitchell delivered on the gridiron. It was just a matter of waiting for holes to open, relying on his offensive line to open holes. Another key factor was vision, a critical trait for any running back who is searching for a sliver of daylight.

Mitchell began his football career as a cornerback and gradually made the transition to running back. But he’s always been a sprinter on the track team. If all goes according to schedule, he will compete in four state championship meets.

He was the star of the state championships last spring, winning the 100- and 200-meter dashes while anchoring the gold medal winning 4x100-meter relay team. His only disappointment was a silver medal in the 400-meter dash.

“This year, the goal is to win every single event I’m entered in,” Mitchell said. “I want to go out with a bang. But I know it’s going to take a lot of hard work.”

Mitchell said he committed to run track and field at the University of South Carolina. But he visited the University of Cincinnati and the rest is history.

He toured the campus, explored the city and met the other Bearcat student-athletes.

“Everything just clicked,” Mitchell said. “I liked the campus and I liked the environment.”

Mitchell said he doesn’t plan to try to play two sports at UC his freshman year. He hasn’t talked to head football coach Luke Fickell but would be willing to talk and discuss his options.

Either way, Mitchell is the latest in the line of Hanahan athletes who have excelled. He remembers watching Hanahan wide receivers Chris Brown (Notre Dame) and Sam Denmark (Virginia Tech).

“I grew up watching them, wanting to be like them,” Mitchell said. “To be mentioned in the same breath with them is quite an honor.”

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