Southwood DBs Mitchell, Nicholson back strong after missing junior seasons

By LEE BRECHEEN, Louisiana Football Magazine

I think a good way to help kids is to identify really good football players I’ve seen play who don’t get the exposure or haven’t been mentioned before the season.

Today’s article is a great example of two kids from the same high school (Southwood High in Shreveport). Both are defensive backs who are just starting to come into their own as players. These are guys that will get recruited based on their senior film.

Highlighted today are cornerback/strong safety/nickelback (cornerback for college) senior Harold Mitchell (5-11, 180) and free safety/strong safety senior Qorinthian Nicholson (6-2, 175). Both are great athletes with really good football speed (both under a 4.6 in the forty) and both have the talent to play college football — either at a high level or a great I-AA or Division II school.

Both missed most of their junior seasons because of injuries, so they were not able to show everything in 2021 and look to do that in 2022.

I think they’re way under the radar and this article will get their names out before the year. Southwood head coach Jesse Esters gave me their names a year ago and really thinks the world of these kids as leaders on his team.

“He prepares as though he has nothing to lose and everything to gain,” Esters said of Mitchell. “After a broken wrist last season, he returns with a vengeance.”

On Nicholson, Esters said: “He spent the entire off season getting bigger, stronger, and faster. He powerlifted and ran track in preparation for a massive senior season.”

For Mitchell, football is the only sport for him.

“What I love most about football is the physical part of it,” he said. “I love hitting people. This is the only sport I have ever played, and I’ve had so much fun playing.”

Mitchell looks forward to playing Captain Shreve every season, “because it’s always a rivalry between us. We are going to play until the clock hits zero.”

Mitchell credits both his coach and his father for pushing him to be his best.

“Coach Esters pushes us to our mental and physical limits,” said Mitchell. “He gets to know every individual player – he learns how they think. I love how he is about the team and not about him. He is there for us, and he wants us to be better in life. I love how my dad pushes me to do better, too. If it wasn’t for him, I would not be here today.”

For Nicholson, football means more than just what happens on the field.

“Playing sports allows me to learn how to be a better young man,” he said. “It also helps to keep me out of trouble. I also like giving back to the homeless. I’ve been doing this since I was a little kid, so I just want to continue doing that.

“This past season I missed seven games due to a groin injury, but I plan on making up for it this season. I had a good spring and now I’m going to continue working hard in the weight room and on the field.”

Like Mitchell, Nicholson has his favorite opponents.

“I like playing against Captain Shreve and Woodlawn the most,” he said. “I like playing against Shreve because I have a lot of brothers that play for them who I’ve known for a long time. I like playing against Woodlawn because it’s always a big game. We let the game slip away this past season, so I feel like we owe them.”

Nicholson also has high praise for his head coach.

“He’s there whenever we need him,” he said of Esters, “and he talks about how there is more to life than football. He was dealt a lot when he came in and he’s handling it right and moving us in the right way. He plans on turning us into a new Southwood.”

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