Per Landon Wright and Matt Clare (UPDATE: Both Landon and Matt wanted to credit Taylor Hamm for breaking the news. High fives errobody!), former Ohio St. linebacker Mike Mitchell has made it official and will transfer to Texas Tech. Mitchell is a former 5-star recruit, perhaps the first that's played for Texas Tech and was previously offered by any and every college program in the 2013 class. The thought is that because Mitchell is transferring to be closer to home that there is a chance he could be eligible immediately.
HIGH SCHOOL: Prestonwood Christian Academy (Plano, TX)
COLLEGE: Ohio St.
VIDEO: Clip 1
RECRUITING SERVICES: Rivals 6.1 | Scout | ESPN 84 | 24/7 Sports 94
CUMULATIVE RANKING: 0.9726
VTM PROFILE DATE: June 1, 2014
OFFERS | Arizona, Baylor, Colorado, Florida, Florida St., Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Mississippi St., Nebraska, Ohio St., Oklahoma, Oregon, SMU, TCU, Tennessee, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, USC, Vanderbilt, Washington.
THE PLAYER SPEAKS | Why transfer from one of the preimier college football programs in the country. That's always a tough thing to diagnose and figure out. There is the thought that Mitchell wants to be close to his father, Ken, who has some health issues. If you want a peak into some pretty good thoughts as to why, I thought this was just a fantastic explation: (via Cleveland):
"It’s a struggle, that first year in college," Ken said when talking about Mickey’s decision. "Mom and Dad aren’t there anymore. But this is your future and your career, and you have to look at where you can make a difference for others."
Mitchell didn’t get to make that difference in any games, taking a redshirt in a season when more freshmen redshirted than anyone would have expected given the way Urban Meyer constantly talks about the idea that the Buckeyes don’t redshirt.
Meyer specifically mentioned a need to better develop players on this National Signing Day on Wednesday. But for Mitchell, is appears it is too late.
SCOUTING REPORT | Mitchell is really a once-in-a-long-time recruit for Texas Tech. He has the size and speed that’s just not at all common for Texas Tech. Heck, that really applies to anywhere. To me, Mitchell could play just about anywhere, but he look like a middle linebacker or weakside linebacker as part of this 3-4. Mitchell has the east-west and north-south speed that's not all that common, plus the strength that permits him to run through tacklers and not just take them on. Mitchell diagnoses plays incredibly quickly, reading and reacting with little effort.
This athetic ability is off the charts (via DMN):
"This is the highest rating we’ve ever seen in the field," SPARQ performance analyst Eric Hakeman said.
SPARQ, a division of Nike, has rated about 175,000 football players since 2004. That includes close to 17,000 this year alone.
Mitchell’s "ability to be explosive in the upper and lower body are off the charts," SPARQ performance director Paul Winsper said. "His linear speed is off the charts. And his agility, both to accelerate and decelerate, are off the charts. We’re talking about a phenomenal athlete."