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Arizona State dismisses new LB Juwan Mitchell

© Diannie Chavez/The Republic / USA TODAY NETWORK
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Arizona State coach Kenny Dillingham confirmed after practice today that Tennessee LB transfer Juwan Mitchell is no longer with the team.

Mitchell was reportedly dismissed after an incident that took place at Saturday’s practice, per Devils Digest.

“Culture wins,” Dillingham said in regards to Mitchell’s dismissal. “It’s very, very simple. Culture wins. You’re either going to practice how we practice, live how we live, be a good person, compete, say ‘yes sir,’ say ‘no sir,’ open doors for people. Be genuinely a good person and do things right, or you’re not. It’s really, really not hard just to be a good person.”

Mitchell came to the Sun Devils this summer as a highly experienced sixth-year player and was in line to start for ASU. This being said, he only had a week of practices under his belt before getting let off the team.

Last week, highly-touted sophomore cornerback Isaiah Johnson was also dismissed from the team.

Dillingham is proving that it doesn’t matter who you are, if you’re not apart of the culture he wants and don’t do the right things, he will let players go.

“The football stuff, that’s great,” Dillingham said. “There’s a lot of really good football players out there, there’s a lot of great football players out there. I want good  people in this program to build a culture that we can be proud of. When I say we, I mean myself, our staff, the alumni (and) the Valley. Everybody that watches us play goes, ‘Man, that’s somebody I’d let babysit my daughter, and that player plays his guts out, that player plays with a passion. Watch that kid play the game.'”

Returning Sun Devil WR Gio Sanders commented on the culture that Dillingham has set and what the dismissing of players means.

“(Dillingham) runs a tight program,” Sanders said. “He wants the best for everybody, I’m not gonna lie to you. So it’s really just if you’re not following what’s (the) guidelines (in our) program, like what our standard is that’s set, he gives you a little leniency, but to a certain point, he’s got to go away with some people.”

Sanders elaborated on how it compares to past years.

“I think it’s definitely just a lot more tight around here, like in a good way though,” he said. “There’s a lot more rules that are set, like I said a standard. You just got to follow that standard. And like I said, there’s still some leniency, but it’s not like before where you kind of can just get away with whatever you want to.”

Tight end Bryce Pierre shared his thoughts on the culture Dillingham has brought.

“Coach Dillingham, he’s real stern on culture,” Pierre said. “Doing the right thing: opening doors for people, making sure to pick up trash, being nice all the time. That’s really huge for us and that carries on to the field.”

Star tight end Jalin Conyers added onto Pierre’s response.

“(Dillingham) doesn’t put up with BS,” Conyers said. “If something happens, he’ll kick guys off the team, he does not care. He doesn’t care if you’re the best player or worst player … It’s bigger than the on-the-field stuff. There’s a culture on the field, but it’s also off the field in the locker room, talking to people, being nice … It’s a big part of it that he tries to emphasize. It’s just about building relationships, being a brotherhood.”

More on Mitchell

After graduating from Mater Dei High School (New Jersey) in 2018, Mitchell started playing junior college for Butler Community College, where he became ESPN’s No. 1 JUCO linebacker prospect after just one season. He totaled 55 tackles, 7.5 for loss, as well as two sacks and an interception in his freshman year.

Mitchell then committed to play for Texas his sophomore season in 2019, seeing the field in 11 games (five starts) and logging 39 tackles, 27 solo stops, 3.5 tackles for loss, three sacks and four pass breakups his first season. The next season (2020), he led the team in tackles with 62, including 4.5 for loss, one quarterback hurry, one pass breakup and one fumble recovery.

He then transferred to Tennessee, but redshirted the following year after only playing in three games due to a shoulder injury that required surgery. He proved he was still a capable linebacker for the Volunteers last season, as he had a stretch of three consecutive games in which he was the leading tackler. He entered the portal on Jan. 9 as a grad transfer, and it was announced he was joining ASU on June 16.

Throughout his Power 5 career, Mitchell has totaled 150 total tackles, 8.5 tackles-for-loss, three sacks and an interception.

Now, Mitchell has entered the transfer portal once again to try to find a new team for his last season, according to 247 Sports.

Dillingham is proving that he wants to build something at Arizona State and will attempt to do whatever it takes to create it correctly.

Arizona State lands commitment from Joseph Albright, another class of 2025 Texas DB

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Brendan Mau is a college sports insider and general assignment reporter for Burn City Sports. You can follow him on X via @Brendan_Mau

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