There's not many players in the league who get the chance to sign with a club located in the same city as their college program. There's even fewer who receive the opportunity to play high school ball, college ball, and professional football all within a 50-mile radius.
But wide receiver Steven Mitchell — who recently signed with Los Angeles as an undrafted free agent — is one such player.
"Honestly it's a blessing. I didn't know where I would land as far as the whole draft process, but one thing my
Check out photos from the Rams last practice before OTAs.
parents told me is to always believe in God's plan, and that's what I did," he said. "To stay in L.A. and I'm at home — I played in the Coliseum all four years — I'm excited."
Mitchell grew up in the San Fernando Valley and went to high school at Bishop Alemany, before heading to USC.
And while he finished his college career as one of the Trojans' most productive wide receivers — recording 644 receiving yards and four touchdowns in 2017 — Mitchell's tenure was not without its share of challenges, including them two season-ending injuries.
"It was tough in the beginning," he admitted. "After I tore my first ACL, that was pretty hard, but when I tore my left one, I knew all the right things to do and what not to do. So, it's been pretty uplifting. I played the whole season last year healthy and I just contributed as much as possible. So, I'm just happy to be here."
L.A. was among one of the first teams to contact Mitchell after the draft. And though he admitted that like every college player, "the dream was to get drafted," Mitchell said he believes the Rams will offer a unique chance to compete at and reach his highest potential.
"I think that just added a chip on my shoulder. It makes me play even harder," he said. "This is a dream come true. I'm going to make my family proud, make the Rams family proud. I don't think it could have went any better."
Plus, when he arrived at the Rams facility on Monday, the wideout was happy to see a familiar face in former USC standout, Robert Woods. In coming onto a team with such a talented wide receiving corps, Mitchell hopes learning from veteran players like Woods, will help him to carve out his own path.
"We were out on the field today [and] if you see videos, I was focused on him and all the older vets — seeing everything that they do, [watching] their techniques and how they run their routes," Mitchell said. "It's pretty much being a student really. I know my abilities, so what I have to do is get out on the field and just show the coaches what I can do."