Carnahan Coverage: Tim Mitchell has rebounded in major way since high school basketball days

Tim Mitchell didn’t survive roster cuts his junior year at Orlando’s University High School. The following year he played a major role though in a successful season for the Cougars, setting the stage for where he is today. I had a chance to cover Mitchell during my time at the East Orlando Sun newspaper during the 2007-08 season. Below is an edited version of a story I wrote about him for the January 3, 2008 edition.

Tim Mitchell_EOSunBut first an update: Mitchell is currently finishing out his senior season at Southeastern University in Lakeland, Florida after helping lead the program to its first trip to the NAIA Division II tournament a year ago. Southeastern entered the postseason unseeded but finished third in the country after earning wins over No. 16 Huntington (Ind.), No. 1 Cardinal Stritch (Wis.) and No. 9 Davenport (Mich.), before falling to the eventual champions, No. 5 Indiana Wesleyan, in the semis.

Mitchell led all tournament players with nine blocked shots and averaged 10 points and 10.3 rebounds in four games for a team that finished 27-7 overall. During the 2013-14 season Mitchell blocked 67 shots and shot 58 percent from the floor while averaging 13.6 points and 10.1 rebounds per game. Southeastern is currently 15-11 overall and 9-8 in The Sun Conference.

ORLANDO, Fla. – When Tim Mitchell was unable to secure a roster spot at University High School before the start of his junior year, he had all but given up on his prep playing career.

It seemed as though the closest he’d get to a varsity basketball game would be while watching from the stands. That’s about the time reality set in for the 6-foot-7 post player as he began accounting for his own actions, or lack thereof.


Carnahan Coverage: Linebacker Withney Simon still awaiting first scholarship offer

ORLANDO, Fla. – He’s done all that’s been asked of him yet Orlando Jones High School’s Withney Simon, the No. 2-rated linebacker in Central Florida, is unsure of his football future.

I caught up with Simon following the Offense-Defense All-American Bowl earlier this month at the Florida Citrus Bowl and asked him about his college options. He said that although he’s got the grades to qualify for football at the next level, he’s a bit surprised at how little interest he’s garnered from college programs.

( – Click here to read J.C.’s feature on Withney Simon for Orlando Sentinel – )


Carnahan Chronicles College Football Rankings (Week 13)

Not much has changed from a week ago in the Carnahan Chronicles College Football Rankings. FSU is still the only unbeaten from a power conference at this point in the season. The other unbeaten team barely hung on to win Saturday as Conference USA’s Marshall improved to 11-0 with a 23-18 win over UAB. Maybe one day we’ll see a team such as this get a shot at making the playoffs. Colorado State (10-1) of the Mountain West is the last remaining team left with one loss not listed below after winning 58-20 over New Mexico behind running back Dee Hart, an Alabama transfer. Would be interested in seeing Hart get a chance to run against Bama at the end of the season.

Here’s the rankings for this week:

#1 (1) Florida State (11-0) – Won 20-17 vs Boston College
#2 (2) Alabama (10-1) – Won 48-14 vs Western Carolina
#3 (3) Oregon (10-1) – Won 44-10 vs Colorado
#4 (4) Baylor (9-1) – Won 49-28 vs Oklahoma State
#5 (5) Ohio State (10-1) – Won 42-27 vs Indiana
#6 (6) TCU (9-1) – Did not play
#7 (7) Mississippi State (10-1) – Won 51-0 vs Vanderbilt
#8 (10) UCLA (9-2) – Won 38-20 vs No. 19 USC
#9 (–) Georgia (9-2) – Won 55-9 vs Charleston Southern
#10 (9) Wisconsin (9-2) – Won 26-24 at Iowa


Carnahan Chronicles College Football Rankings (Week 8)

There’s still plenty to be decided as we get closer to figuring out which four teams will be the last program’s standing to take part in the new college football playoff. Although nine of the 10 teams listed below are the same names tabbed in the top spots of the Associated Press Top 25, these rankings vary quite a bit. Here’s this week’s Carnahan Chronicles College Football Rankings:

#1 (1) Florida State (7-0) – Won 31-27 vs No. 5 Notre Dame
#2 (2) Mississippi State (6-0) – Did not play
#3 (3) Mississippi (7-0) – Won 34-3 vs Tennessee
#4 (6) Oregon (6-1) – Won 45-20 vs Washington
#5 (5) Notre Dame (6-1) – Lost 31-27 at No. 2 Florida State
#6 (7) Auburn (5-1) – Did not play
#7 (10) Alabama (6-1) – Won 59-0 vs No. 21 Texas A&M
#8 (9) Michigan State (6-1) – Won 56-17 at Indiana
#9 (8) TCU (5-1) – Won 42-9 vs No. 15 Oklahoma State
#10 (–) Kansas State (5-1) – Won 31-30 at No. 11 Oklahoma


Carnahan Chronicles College Football Rankings (Week 4)

Not a lot of movement in the Carnahan Chronicles College Football Rankings as just one team from last week fell short in Week 4. Consider this a Top 10 dedicated to momentum each week based off level of upsets and voting by the Associated Press:

#1 (1) Florida State (3-0) – Won 23-17 (OT) vs No. 22 Clemson
#2 (2) Auburn (3-0) – Won 20-14 at No. 20 Kansas State
#3 (3) Texas A&M (4-0) – Won 58-6 at SMU
#4 (4) Oregon (4-0) – Won 38-31 at Washington State
#5 (6) Oklahoma (4-0) – Won 45-33 at West Virginia
#6 (7) Alabama (4-0) – Won 42-21 vs Florida
#7 (–) Mississippi State (4-0) – Won 34-29 at No. 8 LSU
#8 (8) South Carolina (3-1) – Won 48-34 at Vanderbilt
#9 (9) East Carolina (3-1) – Won 70-41 vs North Carolina
#10 (–) Michigan State (2-1) – Won 73-14 vs Eastern Michigan


State of Florida Produces 9 Former Prep Players In NFL Draft

That brief moment of excitement I feel each year when preparing to watch the NFL Draft doesn’t linger for too long. I’m usually ready to channel surf or dip in and out of the room by the eighth pick. But this year I realized it’s all in the way you approach it.

I spent much of the draft last night in a recliner with a laptop, smartphone and remote control nearby. First thing I realized was that ESPN has been ruining this event for me for years. It wasn’t until I committed to the NFL Network’s broadcast that I no longer had the urge to throw my television through a wall due to the rabid jaw-flapping.

Then I got caught up in the information overload world of Twitter and Facebook, reading and responding to online posts about fan’s draft triumphs and despair, with plenty of doses of humor thrown in at each other’s expense.