The Buccaneers’ sophomore defender officially has achieved that goal.

The Blinn women’s soccer program celebrated Mitchell during a signing ceremony on Thursday, where the second-year Buccaneer inked her letter of intent to join Division I Grambling State University (Grambling, La).

Mitchell, a Houston, Texas, native, spent one season at the University of Houston before transferring. She said Blinn gave her an opportunity to reevaluate herself as a student and athlete and opened doors for her future on and off the field.

“Blinn gave me a second chance,” Mitchell explained. “Being here with coach (Alexandria) Jackson and my teammates made me a better person, player, and leader. I’m so happy with my time here and I’m excited to move on and accomplish even more.”

Jackson said Mitchell’s dedication in the classroom and on the field made her a desirable recruit sought after by several Division I programs.

“Taiya’s journey has been different, but it has been a great journey,” Jackson said. “This is what it means to go to junior college. It’s all about growth, and from where she started to where she is now, it’s exciting. It’s going to be even more exciting to see her re-establish herself as that player who has two years of collegiate experience as she steps onto a very good Division I team. She is a true example of what it means to be a student-athlete.”

(Pictured: Blinn College sophomore defender Taiya Mitchell sends the ball downfield during a match against Tyler Junior College on Oct. 15)

During Mitchell’s time at Blinn, she scored three goals as a center-back, a primarily defensive position. She was also part of a 2021 Buccaneer back line which set a program record with four shutouts. Jackson said Mitchell will bring elite athleticism and a high soccer IQ to Grambling, as well as selfless play and leadership.

Mitchell joins a Tigers program which finished 12-8-3 this fall and reached the Southwestern Athletic Conference Tournament (SWAC) championship game.

Mitchell plans to double major in kinesiology and sports medicine.

“I’m going to continue to work hard in the classroom to get my degree,” Mitchell said. “On the field, my plan is to play as much as possible and help the team win the SWAC championship.” 

Blinn has competed in intercollegiate athletics since 1903 and captured 42 NJCAA national championships since 1987.