Most college athletes make sacrifices to play their chosen sports, but for Mount Union running back BJ Mitchell, the stakes may be a bit higher than most.
Mitchell is a father to two boys, 3-year-old Blake and one-month-old Bryce.
“I got a lot more responsible. My decision making is better," Mitchell said about becoming a father. “A lot of my decisions are more thought through because they can impact those around me.”
Fatherhood not only made him more mature, but it also made him a better teammate.
“I have to be a leader to him. [Blake] is watching my every move and so are the guys on my team,” Mitchell said.
While he is currently ranked third on the Purple Raiders all-time rushing list, Mitchell says he's trying to set an example of what it means to be more than just a great athlete.
“The main thing I want them to know is they should value their character first. Playing football, scoring touchdowns, that is great,” he said. “It all doesn’t mean nothing if you are not doing it for the guys around you - if you are not becoming a solid man while doing it.”
As Mitchell prepares to take on Alfred in the quarterfinals of the Division III playoffs, he recognizes the sacrifices he's made along the way and more importantly that they were all worth it.
“Everything I do, I do for them,” the doting father said. “I want them to look back and cherish these moments.”