What Penny Hardaway has to say about Dillon Mitchell.
Hardaway on Mitchell: ‘Minnesota got a steal’
As a middle-school athlete, Vikings receiver Dillon Mitchell, drafted by Minnesota in the seventh round, was coached on the basketball court by NBA legend Penny Hardaway.
SKOR North’s Matthew Coller spoke earlier this week with Hardaway, who said he was “amazed” when he first saw Mitchell play football in 10th grade.
“I thought I was seeing a reincarnation of Reggie Bush, the way he was running kick returns and punt returns back for touchdowns,” Hardaway told Coller over the phone.
Mitchell was named Tennessee’s Gatorade Football Player of the Year as a senior. He caught 81 passes for 1,484 yards and 22 touchdowns. He also rushed for 951 yards and 20 more touchdowns on 64 carries.
The current head coach of the Memphis Tigers basketball team would have loved to have seen Mitchell continue his basketball career in college and advocated Mitchell playing both sports at Oregon, but it was clear to Mitchell’s mentor that football was the sport of choice.
“He was probably, in my mind, a four-star basketball player, five-star football player, and I think if he had focused strictly on basketball could have been a five-star basketball player,” Hardaway told Coller. “Pretty impressive. But he talked only about football. You’d have him over at AAU events, and he was still staying in tune with football.”
Hardaway was surprised to see Mitchell fall to the seventh round, saying he “dropped way too low with his talent.”
“I look at it this way: I say that Minnesota got a steal,” Hardaway said. “He’s going to prove a lot of people wrong; he’s more motivated than ever, and he’s going to prove a lot of people wrong.”
"So let it be written.
So let it be done."