74ºF

Meet the Houston native playing in the Super Bowl this weekend

SANTA CLARA, CA - OCTOBER 07: Defensive tackle Earl Mitchell #90 of the San Francisco 49ers stands on the field during the third quarter against the Arizona Cardinals at Levi's Stadium on October 7, 2018 in Santa Clara, California. The Arizona Cardinals defeated the San Francisco 49ers 28-18. (Photo by Jason O. Watson/Getty Images)
SANTA CLARA, CA - OCTOBER 07: Defensive tackle Earl Mitchell #90 of the San Francisco 49ers stands on the field during the third quarter against the Arizona Cardinals at Levi's Stadium on October 7, 2018 in Santa Clara, California. The Arizona Cardinals defeated the San Francisco 49ers 28-18. (Photo by Jason O. Watson/Getty Images) (2018 Jason O. Watson)

Earl Mitchell thought his 10-year NFL career was over just months ago. On November 7, he announced his retirement from the NFL after struggling to catch on with a team in 2019. Less than two months later, the San Francisco 49ers came calling and now Mitchell is in the Super Bowl.

From calling it quits to south beach calling

“This means everything, I get the opportunity of a lifetime,” said Mitchell. “Not many people in their long careers get to go to the Super Bowl, it’s a really exciting time and I’m grateful for this moment.”

Mitchell hasn't had a huge role for the Niners, playing just an average of 12 snaps per game in the team's two playoff wins, but nonetheless, his veteran presence helps solidify the team's defensive line. Mitchell started 28 games for the 49ers between 2017 and 2018, so the organization knows what they have with him.

“I was kind of like on that final step of acceptable and as soon as I got close to it, I got the phone call," Mitchell said. "I was just like ‘hey this is what you play for,’ I just knew years later if I declined an offer, how much I would have regretted it.”

Houston to Super Bowl

Mitchell has deep ties to Houston, starring at North Shore as a fullback before a detour west led him to play his college football for the Arizona Wildcats. He promptly came right home, where he was drafted by the Houston Texans in 2010. He played four seasons for the Texans, oddly enough leaving Houston to come to...Miami where he spent three seasons in a Dolphins uniform.

“This is an amazing opportunity and I’m blessed,”said Mitchell.