CHARLESTON, S.C. - Among Charleston Southern's many memorable victories over the past five seasons, the October 1, 2016 double overtime win at rival Coastal Carolina ranks high on the list. While Solomon Brown's blocked extra point stands out at as the play from the instant classic, quarterback Robert Mitchell made a bevy of plays to help the Bucs to a wild 59-58 triumph.
Mitchell, who will graduate Saturday with a bachelor's degree in Social and Human Sciences, came off the bench to direct three touchdown drives in the back-and-forth affair. He did so while still working to master the offense following two-and-a-half years split between Lamar University and Blinn Junior College.
"It was probably one of the most fun games I've ever played in," Mitchell recalled. "I don't think it was expected for me to do what I did but I just used my God-given abilities, honestly."
Mitchell's God-given abilities are considerable. At 6-0 and 220 pounds, the Beaumont, Texas native is a strong and gifted thrower, runner and flat-out athlete. He put that skill set on display this past season, earning repetitions on special teams and defense while providing another memorable moment at quarterback to lift CSU to an unlikely last-second win over Gardner-Webb.
After taking a winding path since his days as a high school star at Texas's Beaumont Central High School, Mitchell has relished his CSU experience for two primary reasons.
"Coaching and relationships," Mitchell said. "I've enjoyed it a lot and it's been a great experience. The best thing is being around a group of people that care because it's more of a business at other places. Here, it was like 'ok, I actually get to get coached for the first time and somebody actually pays attention to me.'"
"When I got here, Coach Tuck (Mark Tucker) explained things, went into detail and made sure i had everything I needed to be successful," Mitchell continued.
Although Mitchell never earned the regular starting quarterback job, he played in 17 games and learned valuable lessons he believes will be beneficial as he departs college.
"We always try to make a plan for what we have going on in life but a lot of times it doesn't work out exactly that way so you've just gotta bounce back with what comes and make the best of it," Mitchell said. "I learned to not let the situation determine where I'm gonna go. Do I get down on myself and throw a pity party and blame everybody or do I support the people I'm with? I kept working hard and supporting everybody. I'm tight with a lot of the guys here and I really enjoy our coaching staff so it's been a great experience for me."