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Athletic Hall of Fame: Mitchell leads UL class (Half Time Photo Gallery Included)

Mitchell leads UL class

It took 18 years, but Brian Mitchell is finally a member of the University of Louisiana Athletic Hall of Fame.

An emotional Mitchell was officially announced to a crowd of 12,290 at UL’s homecoming game against Florida Atlantic as part of the 2007 class. The NCAA’s first ever 5,000 passing yard, 3,000 rushing yard quarterback entered with fellow Cajun standouts David Alvis, first baseman, triple jumper Walter Landry and softball catcher Tiffany Whittall Harris.

"I was already excited just to receive this honor," Mitchell said. "But, when I walked out to the field and started hearing all those fans cheer it was the best feeling. It felt like my last game I played here."

Mitchell had all the athletic credentials; he just needed his degree before he could be inducted.

All of the athletes expressed their tremendous feeling of honor to be receiving the award.

"It is a great honor," Walter Landry said. "Of all the athletes who have played in all the different sports, only a small percentage of us make it into the hall of fame. That really makes you feel honored."

Harris agreed.

"It was really a mix of emotions," she said. "I was happy and excited. I’m on the board, so to get voted it by my peers really meant a lot to me."

Harris set the UL record for most RBIs in a game with 11, including two grand slams in one inning.

Landry earned All-American honors in 1996 and qualified for the NCAA Indoor Championship.

Alvis ranks fourth on UL’s home run list with 33 and RBIs with 167. He holds the single-season record for home runs with 19.

The inductees were notified of their achievement late in the summer, giving them time to think about what they had accomplished.

"The number one thing I learned at UL is that talent is not enough," Landry said. "It takes hard work and perseverance to accomplish your goals. I also found that it was much more rewarding to accomplish a goal as a team, rather than an individual achievement. To be successful you have to have drive and a good work ethic."

Harris said she felt the lessons learned in her time with the Cajuns helped mold her into the person she became.

"The discipline it takes to be an athlete at UL is something I’ll always remember," Harris said. "I think a lot of people don’t realize how difficult it is to be a student-athlete; the time put in on the field and in the classroom. It’s something I’ve taken into the rest of my life and the work world. It really prepares you for that."

For Mitchell, the whole event reminded him of all the great memories he made at UL.

"It just goes to show that some of the best times you’ll ever have are in college," Mitchell remarked.

Landry said he is "still putting his UL engineering degree to use", but that it’s always good to come to a place he called home for four years.

"It feels really good to be back," Landry said. "I’ve been away for nine years and you forget how great the people and how friendly the people are down here. Everyone has just been great."

Leslie Westbrook/The Advertiser Quarterback Brian

Click below for more photos of the half time ceromonies, Courtesy of RaginCajuns.com http://www.ragincajuns.com/PhotoAlbum.dbml?&&PALBID=14100&DB_OEM_ID=15400&USE_FLASH=NO