The book on: S/CB Mistral Raymond

Mistral Raymond might have been the biggest unknown of the Vikings draft. His story of family tragedy quickly became apparent, but now we learn more about him and his accomplishments on the field during his collegiate career.

Mistral Raymond
Free Safety/Cornerback
University of South Florida Bulls
#16
6:01.2-194
Palmetto, Florida
Ellsworth (Ia.) Community College
Palmetto High School

OVERVIEW

The former walk-on earned a full-time starting job in his final season, lining up at left cornerback, but that might be just a temporary position for the USF defender, as many talent evaluators feel he is more suited for free safety at the professional level. Raymond has experience at both safety slots, having played the free safety position during his freshman campaign at Ellsworth and lined up at strong safety during his junior season with the Bulls.

Looking at the defensive back's physique, it doesn't take long to understand why Raymond's teammates call him "Skinny," as the tall, wiry player cuts a distinct figure on the field. Opponents testing his skills on the edge soon find out, however, that they won't get to "pad" their offensive numbers doing so.

Raymond spent two years at Ellsworth Community College in Iowa, lettering in 2007, where he produced 62 tackles (42 solos) with a pair of interceptions and five pass break-ups. He transferred to South Florida in 2008, where he appeared briefly in nine games on special teams, but did not record any tackles. He earned the Green & Gold Award as the team's top walk-on.

As a junior, he shared strong safety duties with Jon Lejiste for 13 games, earning four consecutive midseason starting assignments. Raymond delivered 40 tackles (21 solos) with a pair of stops for loss and an interception.

In 2010, Raymond started 10 games at left cornerback and the Syracuse contest at strong safety, sitting out the Louisville clash with a bruised quadriceps muscle. He ranked fifth on the squad with 56 tackles (43 solos), as the All-Big East Conference second-team choice had one interception to go with seven pass break-ups while serving as defensive squad co-captain.

"The most important thing that I'm learning is just to focus on what I can control," Raymond said. "That's my mentality and my approach to workouts ... When I leave the facility I want to make sure I gave my best that day."

CAREER NOTES
Raymond appeared in 34 games at South Florida, starting fifteen games – five at strong safety and 10 at left cornerback…Recorded 96 tackles (64 solos) with two interceptions for 13 yards in returns, seven pass deflections and 6.5 stops for losses of 22 yards for the Bulls…For his entire collegiate career, he appeared in 43 games, collecting 158 tackles (106 solos) that included 7.5 stops for minus 23 yards, four interceptions for 18 yards in returns and twelve pass deflections.

2010 SEASON
Raymond earned All-Big East Conference second-team honors…Started 11 of 12 games, missing the Louisville clash with a bruised quadriceps muscle…The defensive co-captain started 10 times at left cornerback and at strong safety vs. Syracuse, finishing fifth on the team with 56 tackles (43 solos) that included 4.5 stops for losses of 13 yards… Gained 13 yards on an interception return and deflected seven passes.

2009 SEASON
Raymond shared strong safety duties with Jon Lejiste, appearing in all 13 games while starting four-straight midseason games vs. Florida State, Syracuse, Cincinnati and Pittsburgh…Finished with 40 tackles (21 solos), two stops for losses of 9 yards and one quarterback pressure…Also had an interception.

2008 SEASON
Earned the team's Green & Gold Award as the top walk-on, as Raymond appeared in nine games during his first season at South Florida…Competed mainly on special teams, but did not record any tackles.

2007 SEASON
Started eight of nine games at free safety for the Ellsworth (Ia.) Community College Panthers, earning All-Iowa Community College Athletic Conference honors after posting 62 tackles (42 solos) with a stop for a loss, two interceptions and five pass break-ups.

2006 SEASON
Red-shirted during his first season at Ellsworth College.

AGILITY TESTS
4.64 in the 40-yard dash…1.59 10-yard dash…2.59 20-yard dash…4.51 20-yard shuttle…
7.14 three-cone drill…32 ½-inch vertical jump…10'2" broad jump…Bench pressed 225 pounds eight times…32 3/8-inch arm length…9 ½-inch hands.

HIGH SCHOOL
Attended Palmetto (Fla.) High School, where he competed as a defensive back and a wide receiver.

PERSONAL
Communications major, earning a scholarship at South Florida in 2009…Born 7/07/88…
Resides in Palmetto, Florida.

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