Elijah Mitchell leaving Cajuns to enter NFL draft

Former Erath standout Elijah Mitchell (15) has opted to leave the University of Louisiana football program to enter the NFL draft, he announced Sunday via Twitter.

LAFAYETTE — Elijah Mitchell is going pro.

The former Erath High star and Ragin' Cajuns star running back officially declared for the NFL Draft on Sunday. Mitchell broke the news with a lengthy post addressed to Cajun Nation on Twitter.

Mitchell wrote the following, "From the small town of Erath, to the bright lights of Cajun Field, the outpouring of love and support from Ragin' Cajuns fans everywhere has been nothing but elite over the past four years."

Mitchell then made sure to personally thank the University of Louisiana football staff, including head coach Billy Napier, running backs coach Jabbar Juluke and assistant coach Michael Desormeaux.

"I would not be where I am today without the support of my coaches," Mitchell wrote. "I want to sincerely thank Coach Napier, Coach Juluke, Coach Des, and the rest of the coaches and staff for showing me what excellent leadership looks like and always guiding me. They helped me become a better person and a better player. Best of all, they always believed in me."

Mitchell wrapped up his farewell post by writing, "The memories and relationships I have made with my teammates will be something I take forward with me forever. That #cULture is special. Together, we accomplished so much, and I am so proud to have been a part of it. Last, and most importantly, I want to thank my family for always loving and supporting me.

After much thought, prayer and consideration, my journey to fulfill my childhood dreams continues as I am declaring for the 2021 NFL Draft."

In four seasons, Mitchell rushed for 3,267 yards, scoring 41 rushing touchdowns and averaged 6.2 yards per carry. The 5-foot-11, 218-pound running back also was a reliable pass catcher with 49 receptions for 597 yards and five touchdowns.

Mitchell earned second-team All-Sun Belt Conference honors twice (2018-19) and first-team honors this past season. Mitchell also has accepted an invite to the Reese's Senior Bowl in Mobile.

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