LAFAYETTE — He’s part of the so-called “three headed monster” at running back for Louisiana-Lafayette football.
He may not be as flashy as Raymond Calais or as powerful as Trey Ragas, but former Erath standout Elijah Mitchell brings his own style to the mix with a little bit of flash and power.
“It took a little bit to get used to but I’m comfortable with the rotation that we have,” Mitchell said. “I love it. It all worked out for the best.”
Mitchell, entering his junior year for the Cajuns, comes into the season healthy after dealing with some injuries over his first two seasons but still managed to amass 1,242 yard rushing and 374 yards receiving along with 21 touchdowns over that time frame.
But it was last season where Mitchell really came into his own for Louisiana as he rushed for 985 yards and 13 touchdowns as part of a Cajuns’ team that went 7-7 and an appearance in the Cure Bowl in Orlando, Florida.
“I kind of surprised myself,” Mitchell said. “I knew coming out of high school that I could play but the level at which I came out and played at was something that really surprised me.
“I never knew that I’d be in the spot that I’m in right now.”
At Erath, Mitchell was the man as the curent UL junior running back carried the ball on almost every play.
When he got to the Cajuns though, Mitchell found out that he was not going to be the man and was going to have to share time at running back.
Mitchell quickly discovered that he, Calais and Ragas had many things in common that allowed for a seamless transition into the “three-headed monster.”
“It really wasn’t that hard to cheer for them and want them to do well,” Mitchell said. “We hang out with each other and pull for each other.
“If one of them is having a great day then we pull for him. If I’m having a great day I know that they are pulling for me.”
He also found out that he needed to be able to be a receiver as well, something that he didn’t do a lot of at Erath.
“I really didn’t get thrown to in high school but I always had pretty good hands, so it didn’t take long to get used to catching the ball and being a receiver as well as a runner,” he said.
After UL’s team success last season, and the personal success of each of them, the trio are concentrating on doing even more when the season kicks off in September against Mississippi State.
Mitchell also realizes that there will be a target on the Cajuns backs as teams take their best shot against a bowl team and the Sun Belt West Champions.
“Coming from last year, we have a mind set that we’re not going to let anybody beat us,” Mitchell said.
“We’re going to work hard and try to go further and the games that we lost, we’re going to try to win this year. We’re ready to take on that role of taking everyone’s best shot.”
He’s also looking forward to taking on Mississippi State in the opener.
“We played them last year and we know what to expect now,” Mitchell said.
“All we can do is play hard and control what we can control.”
As for personal goals for the 2019 season, Mitchell said that he really doesn’t have any when it comes to rushing yards or receiving yard or touchdowns.
All he wants is to look up at the scoreboard at the end of the games and see that UL has more points than the opponent.
“I’m more of a team player,” he said. “I’m more worried about what we do as a team. If it comes along for me to do well in a game, then that’s how it is.”