A Different Route to the Top

04/13/2015 9:59 AM -

Printed with permission from VYPE

Some take different paths to their destination and a perfect example is former Katy quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell. The native Houstonian has won at every level, even though it has been an unconventional ride for the 6-foot-2 quarterback.


Mitchell followed “Mr. Katy” Andy Dalton as QB1 in 2006 and 2007 and did what Dalton couldn’t as a senior — win a state title.

Even though Mitchell had the size and numbers at the high school level, he wasn’t the highly-coveted prospect that goes with the territory. He held offers from SMU, Hawaii and FCS school Eastern Washington.

Mitchell signed with SMU and was on his way, starting 19 games over two seasons for the Ponies. He tallied over 4,500 yards and 36 scores over two years, but it just wasn’t the right fit.

In 2010, he shocked some by transferring to Eastern Washington, which originally recruited him out of Katy. EWU in Cheney, Washington, is most famous for their red turf field, but Mitchell put the Eagles on the map helping win the school’s only NCAA Division I FCS National Championship in 2010.

He went on to win the Walter Payton Award for the FCS National Player of the Year Award the following year to wrap up his collegiate career.

Unlike Dalton, who would be drafted in 2011 with the No. 35 overall pick by the Cincinnati Bengals, Mitchell was passed over in the 2012 draft. Instead of going the NFL free agency route, Mitchell was picked up by the Calgary Stampeders of the Canadian Football League.

He started as the Stampeders’ third-string quarterback but kept grinding. Mitchell would get his chance in 2013 after both quarterbacks suffered injuries and would win the Offensive Player of the Week in his first start.

Coincidentally, he was playing behind another Houston-area schoolboy legend Drew Tate, who starred at Baytown Lee. Tate ranks first in the Texas high school record book in career pass attempts and completions while at Lee and signed with Iowa out of high school.

After being named the starter for Calgary, Mitchell would lead the Stampeders to a breakout season last year. He led his team to win the 102nd Grey Cup, the equivalent to the NFL Super Bowl, and was named the game’s MVP.

In storybook fashion, Mitchell signed a contract extension to keep him in Calgary through the 2018 season on his 25th birthday.

What a ride it’s been for the former Katy Tiger who has had to fight for his position at every turn.

“Bo is a great inspiration to all of our kids in the program,” said Katy coach Gary Joseph. “Through his work ethic, demeanor and commitment, he’s worked his way up from a backup quarterback as a freshman to the MVP of the Grey Cup. What a fairy-tale ride.”


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