Redshirt sophomore Steven Mitchell shines at practice

So you think you can dance?

The football team was back inside the Coliseum yesterday — rather than Cromwell Field — for yesterday’s spring practice. In the spirit of training to perform in front of a crowd, the middle of practice featured a special performance that wasn’t exactly related to football.

Coach Steve Sarkisian interrupted practice midway through the day for a team dance off. Each unit of the team selected a representative to break it down in front of the rest of the team.

Sarkisian said it was a chance to “break up the monotony” of practice and have some fun. He told the players after the dance off that they need to be able know when to have fun and when to get serious and go back to working hard.

Sarkisian added that freshman offensive lineman Roy Hemsley had the most impressive moves on the team. He even took to Twitter to announce “I’m declaring @leagueme_roy the dance-off winner.”

Can’t stick with Steven

Rising redshirt sophomore wide receiver Steven Mitchell arguably had the play of the day during practice. Mitchell caught a short screen pass and took it almost 50 yards for a touchdown.

He even caused rising sophomore corner back and last year’s Pac-12 freshman defensive player of the year Adoree’ Jackson to lose his footing while trying to make a tackle on the play.

Mitchell will likely see a much bigger role at receiver this upcoming season, especially after the departure of Nelson Agholor. The speedy Mitchell will likely see most of his snaps at the slot receiver position.

Mitchell had seven catches for 82 yards and two touchdowns last season. He started the last two games of the season but sprained his knee early in the Nebraska game. Mitchell, a Mission Hills Bishop Alemany product, missed all of his freshman season and redshirted in 2013 after tearing ligaments in his knee during summer practice.

Taking a stand

Sarkisian said he was standing behind Athletic Director Pat Haden’s decision not to attend a College Football Playoff selection committee meeting this week in Indianapolis.

“I support Pat Haden every step of the way,” Sarkisian said of Haden’s statement.

Haden announced that he was not going to attend the meeting to protest the controversial Religious Freedom Restoration Act that was signed into law in Indiana this week. Many have argued that the legislation is discriminatory to homosexuals. Haden has a gay son.

Haden also took to Twitter, writing this message: “I am the proud father of a gay son. In his honor, I will not be attending the CFP committee meeting in Indy this week. #EmbraceDiversity.” The tweet was retweeted over 6,000 times.

Elsewhere in college sports, the law has drawn criticism from NCAA President Mark Emmert. The NCAA is hosting the Final Four in Indianapolis, but Emmert has openly questioned whether the law will negatively affect participants in the tournament. Emmert has even acknowledged the possibility of moving future events out of the state if the law presents an issue.

“We’re very serious about our core values and we want to make sure we can operate in an environment that is supportive of those values,” he said in an interview with ESPN. “So this is a very serious issue for us.”