, 2014

Hottest college guy is really a
take-home-to-mom kind of guy

Everybody has a story

by Lisa Hinton-Valdrighi

Matt Mitchell is man candy. He has dark eyes, dark hair, a slender build and a boyish grin that has caught the eyes and captured the hearts of girls all over the world.

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Matt Mitchell recently was voted the “Hottest College Guy in the World” on HerCampus.com.

Matt was recently crowned the “Hottest College Guy in the World.” And he’s literally the boy next door. A 2009 graduate of Lancaster High School, Matt grew up in Kilmarnock and is the son of Bill and Jane Mitchell.

His journey from cute guy on campus to world-famous hottie began last September when Matt celebrated his 21st birthday.

“I’m friends with a girl named Chelsea and she had come to me a number of times with this campus cutie thing and I always said, ‘I don’t know about that,’ “ said Matt.

His friend made the argument that his birthday month would be the perfect time to post him as a campus cutie on Virginia Commonwealth University’s (VCU) Her Campus website. So Matt agreed. He had his brother, Aaron Young, shoot some photos of him at a Richmond-area park and his friend, who works for Her Campus, put his picture on the VCU website as September’s Campus Cutie.

The higher-ups at the national Her Campus website saw Matt’s photo and suggested entering him into the site’s Hottest College Guy in America contest. Every college that has a Her Campus site may nominate one “hot guy” per year for the contest.

“When my friend came to me with this I thought it was hilarious, but I said okay,” said Matt.

Matt started as one of 64 hot guys from across the country. The final 32 selected were divided into four categories in two brackets. The categories included Mr. McSteamys, Mr. McDreamys, Man Candy and Take-Home-To-Moms.

“Matt won the section he was in, Man Candy. It makes a mom proud,” joked Jane.

But in all seriousness, it was Jane’s efforts, said Matt, that helped him claim the title. She circulated posters around the local hospital where she works and urged co-workers to vote for her son.

“Mom went crazy with that and spread it all over the hospital,” said Matt. “I’m still apologizing for that.”

The top 32 were narrowed down to The Sexy Sixteen, then the Electric Eight, the Fierce Four and finally the Grand Finalists.

“When I got to the final two that’s when I got into it,” said Matt.

The voting would close for each round on Thursday nights and “Mom would text me every Friday morning and say you made it through to the next round,” said Matt.

“We have teased him about being on the Dean’s List versus winning the contest,” said Jane. “But in the ‘big picture’, [one day] his kids will think it is way more cool to have a dad who’s been the hottest guy instead of the Dean’s List guy.”

He won the hottest college guy in America title in January by more than 200 votes over the runner-up, and was pitted against the hottest university guy winners from Canada and United Kingdom. The Canadian hottie was eliminated first and Matt beat out the UK winner for the crown of Hottest College Guy in the World on February 4.

Matt said he was typically notified early the next day after an elimination round, except for the week of the final vote.

“I’m in class and it’s maybe four o’clock,” he said. “I hadn’t heard a thing. Then right when class was over I got the email. I couldn’t believe it.”

The contests have opened up several opportunities for Matt, a senior who is majoring in criminal justice but is now pursuing a career in advertising.

Once Matt was selected for the top 32, he submitted some photos to Modelogic Whilhelmina, the mid-Atlantic branch of a New York modeling company. He had submitted photos to the agency as a freshman but wasn’t accepted. He said he submitted the photos his brother took for the contest at noon and by 4 p.m. on that same day had been called for an interview. He did a photo shoot with the agency in November and since has taken runway and acting classes. Matt actually got a call back for a Virginia Dominion power advertisement but the shoot was held during exams and he couldn’t do it.

On May 5, he will walk the runway at the VCU Fashion Show at the VCU Museum of Fine Arts. The show highlights the work of VCU students in the school’s fashion department.

Hundreds of would-be models auditioned for the show.

“I felt like everyone there was a model except for me,” said Matt. “It was very scary, very hectic.”

Although he’s committed to getting his degree in criminal justice, Matt says “If there was some way I could take this [modeling] and run with it, I would. I know you can’t model forever.”

Matt also will be a guest at the Her Campus conference at the College of William & Mary in Williamsburg on March 23.

He says he’s “living the single life right now. With school and modeling, it’s kind of tough for a relationship.”

Of course, he’d be a great catch. And not just because he’s man candy. After winning the Hottest College Guy in the World contest, Matt received a huge trophy, a certificate and a new laptop.

He knew his mother was in need of a new computer and to thank her for all of her support, surprised her with the laptop as a present on Valentine’s Day.

Now, if that’s not a take-home-to-mom kind of guy, who is?

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